Top-level changes at the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) may be known in two weeks.
In a press conference last Friday, Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon said he would announce within two weeks the results of reshuffling among district and subport customs collectors.
Whether someone stays or not, he said, hinges on the following criteria: performance as revenue collector (40%), enforcement against smuggling (30%), and feedback from stakeholders (30%).
At a closed-door meeting with 47 collectors Friday morning, Biazon said he urged the collectors to reform their old jurisdictions.
He noted the district and subport collectors had given him either written or verbal assurances that they were willing to relinquish their posts.
He admitted though that firing someone who has Civil Service eligibility is not an easy task. “You cannot just fire somebody from the civil service. But definitely, we are looking for such cases and in my term, there have been many who have been dismissed from the service, even up to the rank of collector.”
Heads of the BOC’s intelligence and enforcement divisions were also asked to submit reorganization plans.
The so-called Three Kings, or the three major customs officials reportedly with powerful political backers, also attended the meeting. They are Port of Manila district collector Rogel Gatchalian, reportedly backed by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile; Ninoy Aquino International Airport district collector Carlos So, reportedly supported by Iglesia ni Cristo; and Manila International Container Port collector Ricardo Belmonte, brother of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. All expressed support for Biazon’s efforts to introduce reforms in the bureau.
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