Home » Customs & Trade » BOC chief eyes incentives to meet target, beat corruption

Philippine Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña is looking at giving incentives to hit the P468-billion revenue collection target of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for this year, the amount he has committed to deliver to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lapeña, in a speech during his first flag ceremony as BOC chief on September 4, said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has informed him that the BOC collection has reached P261.81 billion from January 2017 to date. This means the agency needs to collect P206.19 billion starting this month until the end of the year, or P50.1 billion per month until December, to meet the agency’s full-year target.

Kakayanin natin ’yan [We can do this],” Lapeña said.

He said he strongly believes that if customs does its job properly and strictly follows the law and its rules and regulations, “we will be able to hit our target.”

If BOC meets its target, the customs chief said that “there will be incentive.”

Lapeña said he plans to provide incentives to those who “remain steadfast in performing their duties,” hoping the incentives will deter corrupt practices among customs employees.

He said they will also study the low compensation of BOC personnel, which is one of the various internal organizational concerns that need to be addressed “to boost the morale of our people.”

Organic personnel will also be prioritized in promotions before opening posts to the public, Lapeña said.

Comparing himself to previous customs heads, Lapeña said what sets him apart is that he is “very serious with my commitments.”

“And I will perform and deliver the expectations of our President,” Lapeña said. He said his priority programs will revolve around Duterte’s marching orders for him to stop corruption and increase revenue collection at BOC.

Lapeña, the former head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, was chosen by Duterte to replace former commissioner Nicanor Faeldon who resigned in the midst of congressional inquiries on why P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs slipped past BOC in May.

“I walk the talk and you can count on me,” Lapeña said.

“If there are many outside pressures as you perform your job, inform me. Pass it to me and I will manage it. Those things that you cannot do at your level, pass it to me,” Lapeña told customs officials and employees.

He said he will “work within the organization and utilize officers and personnel who are already knowledgeable and experienced in customs processes.”

“Just do your work, prove your worth, and I will back you up,” he said.

He also said he does not mind various issues being thrown at BOC “but I am here to institute changes, changes that would help regain public trust and confidence to the bureau.”

“Help me reform the bureau, help me in my mission to liberate the bureau from the clutches of corruption and hit its collection target as ordered by the President,” Lapeña said.

The BOC chief reiterated, however, that once he receives and validates reports of the involvement of customs officials and employees in corrupt practices, “you will see immediate action based on the offense committed.”

Lapeña said he will be implementing a “one-strike policy” in BOC to boost internal cleansing.

The new policy will be supported by intensified counterintelligence efforts, according to Lapeña.

He earlier explained that he will be creating a new counterintelligence unit and will also utilize other government intelligence offices such as that of the Armed Forces. – Roumina Pablo

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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