New commissioners vow reforms at Customs
MANILA, Philippines - The five new deputy commissioners of the Bureau of Customs showed a united front this morning and vowed to accomplish reforms planned for the agency.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said he is hopeful the entry of retired AFP chief Jessie Dellosa, Atty Agaton Uvero, Maria Edita Tan, Myrna Chua and Primo Aguas will help the BOC achieve its target of increasing collections to P300 billion this year and stamping out corruption.
"Ang advantage ng all new deputy commissioner na sabay- sabay pumasok, it's easier to align the individual offices to the same goal. Because as what have been experienced in the past, syempre iba-ibang panahon pumasok ang mga dep com, there's a tendency na nagiging myopic ang approach ng bawat isa. But with the entry of 5 deputy commissioners all at the same time, it's easier to align them towards one goal and that is the reform at the Bureau of Customs," Biazon said in a press conference.
"We are hoping with the new leadership in place there will be a change in the performance of the bureau, especially that our efforts to introduce new leadership is not just at the dep com level but even at the port collectors level," he added.
Meanwhile, the new commissioners said they are still trying to adjust to their new roles but they vowed to support the leadership in pushing for reforms.
"The first change you will notice with the team is whereas before you'd probably notice each dep com having his own kingdom or empire, I think part of our, nung nagka-meeting kami, sabi namin magtutulungan tayo, hindi tayo independent republic bawat isang office. You'll see a lot of coordination," Uvero said.
At the same time, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima urged collectors at the BOC to support plans to reform the agency.
This comes after a group of 15 collectors was able to obtain a 17-day extension of the temporary restraining order blocking their transfer to the Customs Policy Research Office.
"President Aquino's quest to stamp out corruption across many institutions is a long and challenging task, and at times it will be difficult for all of us. To our colleagues in the BOC, I call on you to share our President's vision and accept your orders with nobility," Purisima said.
The 15 collectors had asked the Manila regional trial court to issue a TRO to stop their transfer, citing lack of due process and violation of their security of tenure. The court extended the TRO to October 20. - ANC