IN case the $51-million loan application for its modernization program with the US Exim Bank is turned down, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has a backup funding source: the World Bank and the US Millennium Challenge Account.
"We would like to keep our options open so we continue to look for other sources of funds for our modernization programs," Customs deputy commissioner Alexander Arevalo told PortCalls.
"We cannot afford to wait for the decision of the US Exim Bank before talking to other financing agencies as we cannot afford delays in our program," Arevalo said.
The loan will fund connection of 43 government agencies transacting with the BOC as well as facilitate the electronic-to-mobile project.
BOC also wants a technical assistance program to supplement the secure trade facilitation component of the 2008 to 2012 strategic plan of the Philippine customs service.
Arevalo said the ideal situation would be for all three loans to be approved as this would accelerate the modernization program.
World Bank officials are scheduled to arrive in the country by third week of this month to the loan application and the project proposal.
BOC has made representations in Washington to facilitate a decision on the application.