BOC bids out P240M consulting services for modernization project

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  • The Bureau of Customs is looking to engage consulting firms to help execute and implement the Philippines Customs Modernization Project
  • From the total US$88-million loan from the World Bank for the entire project, P240 million will be allotted for the consulting services
  • The consulting period will be from early 2021 to December 2025

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is seeking consulting firms to assist in all aspects of the execution and implementation of the Philippines Customs Modernization Project.

In a request for expression of interest posted on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) website, BOC said it intends to apply part of the proceeds, or P240.330 million, from the US$88-million loan from the World Bank (WB) to the Philippines Customs Processing System Implementation Project Supervision and Quality Assurance Services.

The consulting services period will be from early 2021 to December 2025, involving an effort of about 400 person-months.

The assignment includes two broad task clusters. The first is project supervision and quality assurance services associated with information and communications technology (ICT) modernization. This includes including procurement and implementation of the Customs Processing System (CPS); enterprise resources planning system as part of the organization development component; and remote image analysis center systems and related infrastructure.

The second cluster focuses on organizational development, change management, capacity development, support to improve integrity in the workplace, gender inclusion and development, and other human resources interventions to ensure that new ICT capabilities effectively translate into business practices that conform with international standards and accepted good practice principles, and deliver maximum operational impact.

Interested consultants should provide information demonstrating they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the services.

The detailed terms of reference for the assignment, which will be finalized, are available on the websites of BOC and PhilGEPS.

The Philippines Customs Modernization Project is expected to improve the country’s customs administration through streamlining, automation, and development of a world-class customs processing system or CPS.

READ: World Bank approves $88M loan for BOC modernization project

The World Bank’s Executive Board approved the loan for the project last October 2020. The project was first introduced by the Washington-based lender in 2017, and was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee on March 6, 2020.

The project has a total cost of $104.38 million, of which $88.28 million will be funded through WB’s official development assistance, and the balance shouldered by the borrower.

BOC, supervised by the Department of Finance, will be the implementing agency, responsible for project execution and for ensuring project development objectives are met.

BOC earlier said it will establish a project management unit responsible for overall project implementation. A special bids and awards committee will also be formed on the procurement of the different project components.

Traders, exporters, importers, port operators, shipping companies, and transport providers—many of them small and medium enterprises employing many workers—are expected to directly benefit through reduced transaction costs and enhanced predictability and transparency of the clearance process.

With the modern CPS in particular, important processes like trade management and registration, cargo inspection, duty payment, and clearance and release will be integrated into a seamless online system.

The CPS will also improve adherence to international standards and conventions on customs processing, provide audit trail for transactions, and allow for greater transparency and less opportunity for corruption.

BOC said modernization will also accelerate process reforms in the agency. These include efforts to digitalize paper-based systems, and improve critical capabilities such as risk management, intelligence, post-clearance audit, and other transaction processes that are vulnerable to corruption. – Roumina Pablo