Palace urged to fix BOC mess
Posted: 2017-Aug-12 19.01.21 UTC+0800
MANILA — The government will not be able to deliver on its promises to the people if its second biggest source of revenue is "broken, malfunctioning and damaged," a senator said Friday.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto made this call urging Malacanang to fix the current problems being encountered by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) or else ongoing government programs will suffer.
"If the government were a vehicle, BOC's job is to fill one-fifth of the fuel tank. If it fails to deliver, if it misses its quota, the vehicle will not reach its destination, or is forced to unload passengers, or will sputter along the way," Recto said in a statement.
"Thus the problems being encountered by the BOC, the many scandals it is grappling with must be resolved without delay as a matter of national urgency," he added.
Recto also pointed out that when taxes collected by the BOC are stolen because of corruption, it is the people who will feel the pain.
Recto said that with the resignation of most members of the current management, a new team must be appointed immediately.
He stressed that the new appointees must be "competent and ethical people, knowledgeable of the intricacies and culture of Customs operators."
"…The country cannot afford OJTs (on-the-job trainees) on training wheels being appointed to such a crucial job," Recto said.
He also urged President Rodrigo Duterte also start holding revenue command conferences where every port collector, every section head in major ports, will report on their accomplishments and pledge their targets.
The BOC is currently under fire for allowing PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu from China to slip through the bureau.
BOC's Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella on Tuesday stepped down from his position in wake of the controversy.
Estrella earlier admitted to not following protocol when he failed to contact the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) upon learning about the illegal shipment. (PNA)