Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » BOC chief orders heightened anti-smuggling initiatives

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has directed customs officials and employees to intensify anti-smuggling measures in ports.

In a memorandum dated November 22, Guerrero reminded Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials to ensure they comply with the directive to swiftly seize and confiscate smuggled goods in coordination with the BOC Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) operatives in accordance with existing laws, rules, and regulations.

He also reminded customs personnel to exercise utmost diligence in checking documents, including bills of lading and stowage plans, to prevent technical smuggling.

Guerrero said these measures are in line with the Duterte administration’s “pursuit to curb unlawful import and export of goods and to strengthen the specific functions of the BOC under Section 202 (c) [Border control to prevent entry of smuggled goods] and (d) [Prevention and suppression of smuggling and other customs fraud] of RA [Republic Act] No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).”

The BOC chief said that “negligence or dereliction of duty of any official or employee in line with this mandate shall be dealt with accordingly.”

In another memorandum dated November 19, Guerrero also ordered all officials and personnel of BOC to strictly adhere to the “No Solicitation of Favor” and “No to Political Backer” policies in consonance with the state’s policy to promote a high standard of ethics in public service.

Pursuant to Section 7d of RA No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), solicitation of favors constitutes prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee, and is thus unlawful.

Any official attempting to be designated or reassigned to a desired position through the use of a political backer shall be dealt with accordingly, Guerrero said.

He added that “this administration is intent on applying the full force of the law and will not hesitate to apply all forms of penalties be it administrative or criminal, to anybody found wilfully and knowingly violating this directive.”

Guerrero, who took over leadership of the BOC on October 31, said his priority as the new customs commissioner is to stop corruption at the country’s second biggest revenue-contributing agency. His second priority is to stop “tara” (grease money) and other forms of bribery in transactions at the agency. – Roumina Pablo

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