'TRO on reshuffle may affect Customs collections'
MANILA, Philippines - Former Customs Commissioner Tomas Apacible said Customs collections may take a hit because the government's order to move senior collectors to the Department of Finance has been halted by a TRO.
This has left some importers confused about whom they should deal with -- the senior collectors the government wants moved or the junior collectors the government wants to replace them with.
Unfortunately, October is the month when shipments of goods for the Christmas season start arriving.
"Kung ikaw ang importer, naglalakad ka ng papeles sa iyong cargo, sino ngayon ang pupuntahan mo? Sinong pipirma niyan? Ayaw mong maipit sa problemang yan. So ang magiging tendency ng karamihan, palipasin na lang ang problema at saka na tayo magparating, tapos na ang Pasko," Apacible said.
He said it's not just collections that may take a hit but supply as well, if confusion leads to delays in releasing goods from Customs.
Many shipments are luxury goods and appliances, so supply of these items may be affected.
"Talo dito ang tao pag bagsak ang koleksyon, maghahanap ng ibang paraan ang gobyerno sa pag-generate ng revenue," Apacible said.
Customs chief Ruffy Biazon admitted the morale of employees have been affected because of the TRO.
"Marami pang work to be done... After nagkagulo, it's now my job to pacify people," Biazon said.
Biazon is hoping that the court can decide soon on the TRO, so he can continue to clean up Customs and improve collections.
According to the BoC, they achieved their target just once this year - in January.