The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has achieved significant milestones under the leadership of Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio, demonstrating its commitment to its 5-Point Priority Program for the calendar year 2023 pursuant to the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. With a strong focus on digitalization, revenue collection, trade facilitation, smuggling prevention, and employee welfare, the BOC has made remarkable strides in advancing its mandate and enhancing its operations in the first half of the year.
Digitalization of Customs Processes
The BOC has prioritized the modernization of its systems and streamlined customs processes, resulting in an impressive 96.39% rate of digitalization for 160 out of 166 customs procedures under the 2021 Citizen’s Charter. Ongoing ICT projects, such as the E-Service Catalog System, Document Management System, Over Staying Cargo Tracking System, Automated Export Declaration System (AEDS), and Customs Auction Monitoring System, further enhance efficiency and transparency.
Hit and Surpass the Target
From January to June 2023, the BOC surpassed its revenue collection target of Php420.664 billion, recording a total collection of Php433.433 billion, surpassing the target by 3.04% or Php12.768 billion. This achievement can be attributed to the agency’s improved system of determining customs value, leading to a higher rate of assessment. Likewise, the BOC generated an additional Php1.257 billion in revenue from audit findings and Prior Disclosure Program applications during the same period. Furthermore, the BOC collected an additional Php29.718 million from Public Auctions conducted in the Ports of Manila, Davao, and Manila International Container Port.
Simplify Procedures and Facilitate Secured Trade
The BOC’s efforts to simplify procedures and enhance trade facilitation yielded significant results. The Philippines climbed 17 places in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI), ranking 43rd among 139 countries. Notably, the BOC has successfully implemented the electronic Phytosanitary (e-Phyto) Certificate exchange with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries. In this regard, collaboration with the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industries (BPI) and participation in the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) were instrumental in this achievement.
Curb Smuggling in all Forms
The BOC’s anti-smuggling operations resulted in 603 seizures worth Php23.851 billion from January to June 2023. The top commodities seized were counterfeit products, agricultural products, tobacco products, illegal drugs, and general merchandise. Some of the notable seizures were Php86 million worth of misdeclared sugar from Hong Kong in Subic Port on March 15, 2023; Php1.4 billion worth of imported cigarettes in a Sulu warehouse on March 2, 2023; and Php3.8 million worth of shabu at the NAIA DHL Express Warehouse on May 8, 2023
The Fuel Marking Program marked 9.42 billion liters of fuel, equivalent to P114.53 billion in duties and taxes, successfully combating illicit fuel trade. The BOC also took strict action against customs law violators, revoking the accreditation of 33 customs brokers and 85 importers. Additionally, 74 criminal complaints were filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ), and two (2) administrative complaints were filed with the Professional Regulation Commission against violators of customs laws. Collaborations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) were strengthened to enhance prosecution measures.
Uplift Employee Welfare and Development
The BOC’s Human Resource Management Division implemented a comprehensive merit and selection program, hiring 71 new personnel, and promoting 214 existing personnel. These initiatives have fostered organizational development and boosted employee morale. The BOC’s commitment to exceptional service delivery is evident in obtaining 23 ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) certificates.
Moreover, the BOC received an Unmodified Opinion, the highest evaluation from the COA for strong internal controls, ensuring accurate financial statements. This recognition highlights the BOC’s commitment to transparency and compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
Commissioner Rubio expressed his gratitude to the dedicated employees of the BOC for their unwavering commitment in achieving these accomplishments. He reiterated the agency’s dedication to continuous improvement and emphasized its determination to further enhance services, foster trade facilitation, and curb illicit activities.
As the Bureau of Customs geared toward the future, Commissioner Rubio and his team remain committed in upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and efficiency. Through their relentless pursuit of excellence, the BOC will continue to play a vital role in the nation’s economic growth and development.#