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Customs Chief underscores BOC Transformation Programs

July 20, 2022

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonard B. Guerrero attended the 29th Supply Link Conference and Exhibit held virtually on July 15, 2022 where he underscored the various transformation programs that were implemented in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) under his leadership.

The event was hosted by the Philippine Institute for Supply Management (PISM) and was attended by leading local and international supply and management executives and professionals.

In the said virtual conference, the Customs Chief reported the various reform initiatives that helped BOC achieve real and positive changes in its processes and performance. These include the BOC’s enrollment in the Performance Governance System (PGS) of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) in 2019. The PGS follows a 4-stage pathway in which the Bureau completed last April 2022 with Gold Trailblazer Awards in all stages. With this, the Bureau gained recognition as an Island of Good Governance – the first in the history of BOC.

According to Commissioner Guerrero, the enhancement of trade facilitation was made possible through the implementation of various information technology and automated systems, which resulted in more efficient and transparent Customs transactions. To date, thirty-three (33) ICT projects and systems have been implemented, resulting in the automation of 91.76% or 156 out of the 170 customs processes – more than double from where BOC started just three years ago. Aligned with the Zero Contact Policy, the BOC also created the first Customer Care Center (CCC) in seventeen (17) Collection Districts to streamline Customs processes and limit face-to-face transactions between BOC and stakeholders while ensuring efficient trade facilitation.

Other trade facilitation programs that were implemented include the (1) BOC’s enrollment in the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Mercator Programme; (2) the conduct of Time Release Studies, (3) the implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program, and (4) the onboarding of BOC and other trade regulatory agencies to the National Single Window (NSW). Through these programs and initiatives, trade facilitation has improved as the Philippines ranked 3rd among the best performing Southeast Asian Nations in 2021 with a score of 86.02%.

On revenue collection, the Bureau Chief showcased the Online Dashboards that the BOC developed to monitor the real-time status of revenue collection and other customs operations. The use of dashboards is now integrated into the internal staff routines and has been instrumental in the improved revenue collection performance of the Bureau. From January to June 2022, the Bureau posted a total collection of Php 396.804 billion, surpassing the target for the period by 21%, or Php 68.9 billion.

The Commissioner also reported the BOC’s continuing efforts to protect the nation’s economic borders and prevent the entry of harmful and illicit goods. Among the initiated projects of the Bureau is the creation of the Customs Operations Center (COC) in the BOC Central Office. The COC integrates information gathered from all sources for more effective command and control of operations in the 17 Collection Districts nationwide. The Bureau also utilizes tools such as the National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN) of the WCO, which allows the BOC to exchange information on smuggling patterns with other member countries. Enforcement assets were also augmented with the procurement of 200 body-worn cameras, 20 units of fast patrol vessels, 60 advanced mobile x-ray machines, 16 Trace Detection Systems, and 100 rifles. The strengthening of border protection measures of BOC resulted in the successful seizure of various smuggled commodities worth 8.372 billion in 2021.

Before he ended his presentation, the Commissioner invited the participants of the event and others in the industry to be part of the transformation of the BOC. “As our stakeholders, your support, cooperation, and trust are essential for the Bureau to achieve its vision of becoming a modernized and credible customs administration that is among the world’s best,” he said.

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