Home » Customs & Trade » PH Customs revives plans for online inspection system

The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) is allotting P200 million for an online inspection and monitoring system (OIS) to curb smuggling in the country and improve accountability among Customs personnel.

The system may be in place within the second half of the year, according to Customs commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon.

During the time of former Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales, a similar initiative was proposed where the system will be connected to some government agencies, including Malacañang, to monitor inspection made by Customs officials.

Biazon said the OIS will “create consciousness among x-ray personnel that they are being closely watched by other Customs officers, and even by me.”

He added, “Connivance between smugglers and Customs officers would be very unlikely, if not impossible.”

The commissioner said the terms of reference for the public bidding are now being readied.

The original plan was to install a system in a remote location, including one in Malacañang and another in the Office of the BOC commissioner, allowing each agency to view shipments being scanned in real time.

BOC officers, especially from the assessment and physical examination divisions, are currently relying on the x-ray department’s report of misdeclaration of goods.

The BOC’s X-ray division, which manages around 30 machines nationwide, has seized some P16.8 billion worth of contraband goods since x-ray machines were installed in 2007.

The BOC is hard-pressed to increase collections amid reports of rampant smuggling nationwide. This year the agency has a revenue goal of P347 billion.

From January to April, the BOC took in P94.89 billion, 11% more than the same period last year but P14 billion short of its target.

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