Acting BOC commissioner Ruiz assumes office

Yogi Filemon Ruiz (right) taking oath as the new acting Bureau of Customs commissioner during the turnover ceremony on July 25. Photo from BOC.
  • Yogi Filemon Ruiz formally assumed office as acting customs commissioner
  • Ruiz identified seven priority programs, including curbing smuggling, increasing revenue generation, fully digitalizing Customs operations, and eradicating corruption
  • He vowed to continue reforms began by his predecessor, Rey Leonardo Guerrero

Yogi Filemon Ruiz formally assumed office today (July 25) as acting Bureau of Customs commissioner.

Ruiz, who took his oath on July 20, replaces Rey Leonardo Guerrero who has headed BOC since 2018.

In a speech during the turnover ceremony at the BOC headquarters in Manila, Ruiz underscored his seven priority programs:

  • zero tolerance for drug smugglers
  • curb gun smuggling
  • eliminate agricultural smuggling
  • increase revenue generation
  • fully digitalize Customs processes
  • increase employee morale
  • eradicate corruption

The priorities are aligned with the mission order given by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to the new acting Customs commissioner, BOC said in a statement.

“We will not waver in our campaign for a modernized and credible customs administration that we can all be proud of. We will continue our intensified and strengthened borer security efforts, we will work towards hitting our target revenue and surpass it as well. We will implement more programs to improve the morale and motivate our personnel so that our workforce can deliver better service to the Filipino people,” Ruiz said.

He thanked his predecessor Guerrero and vowed to “carry on the good governance and process reforms that were started” by the former BOC chief.

Guerrero congratulated and welcomed Ruiz, whom he described as “a public servant with a track record of accomplishments that will surely bring new energy to the Bureau.”

“Being part of the organization for several years now, you have the advantage of hitting the ground running, so to speak, and a familiarity with the ins and outs that will serve you in good stead as you steward our institution towards mission accomplishment,” Guerrero told the incoming commissioner.

Guerrero also expressed gratitude to BOC personnel: “It has been my privilege and honor to have stood together with you throughout the last four years, amidst the toughest tests and the COVID-19 pandemic. You have made it possible for the Bureau to transform and to achieve, with solid results and a revitalized service ethic that benefits our stakeholders and partners.”

The turnover ceremony was presided by Finance Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko and attended by BOC officials.

Before his designation as BOC chief, Ruiz was the director of BOC’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) since 2017. As ESS director, he spearheaded several enforcement projects and handled operations, which greatly contributed to the intensified anti-smuggling campaign of BOC.

Before his posting at BOC, Ruiz was the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Central Visayas regional director. He was with PDEA for a total of seven years.