Smooth transition at Customs urged

President Rodrigo Duterte (left) greets newly appointed Bureau of Customs commissioner Rey Guerrero on the sidelines of the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard at the Port Area in Manila on Thursday, Oct. 25. Also in photo is Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade. REY BANIQUET / PPD

MANILA – The country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), has urged for a smooth transition in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) so as not to disrupt trade flows in the country this coming peak season.

In a statement Wednesday, PCCI acting president Edgardo Lacson said the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to replace BOC executives amid the P6.8-billion shabu scandal is a “welcome development” as this signals the administration’s zero tolerance against corruption and illegal drugs.

“Business welcomes the bold initiative of Duterte, which can trigger total overhaul of the system,” he said.

Lacson noted that for decades since its creation, the BOC has been perceived to be the most corrupt agency of government.

“Several heads have been installed and most, if not, all have been removed or replaced because of suspected, though unproven, involvement in smuggling operation. The fault is probably a systemic anomaly that punishes those who are honest and sincere in cleaning up the stable of corruption,” he said.

But the business group hopes the restructuring in BOC will not affect the flow of trade, especially this coming Christmas season, where shipments are expected to rise.

“Business is hoping the wholesale removal of key personnel and replaced by highly trained military men would be seamless and not too disruptive of the smooth flow of trade involving customs,” Lacson said. (With PNA/PN)


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