BOC sets out rules governing operations center activities

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BOC sets out rules governing customs operations
The Customs Operations Center during its official launch in December 2020. Photo from Bureau of Customs.
  • The Bureau of Customs has laid down the rules and regulations for the activities of the Customs Operations Center, its central command and control facility for intelligence and enforcement operations of the agency
  • Customs Memorandum Order No. 25-2022 activates the COC and applies to all organic personnel of BOC, including those under service contracts who will be assigned to the COC
  • COC will be BOC’s overall coordinating and monitoring body under the direct control and supervision of the Customs commissioner

The Bureau of Customs has set out its rules for the operation of its Customs Operations Center (COC), the nerve center of the agency’s intelligence and enforcement operations.

Customs Memorandum Order No. 25-2022 activates the COC and applies the rules to all organic personnel of BOC, including those under contracts of service, who will be assigned to the COC. It will also apply to different offices mandated to support the administrative and operational activities of COC.

BOC formally inaugurated the COC in December 2020 as its central facility for the command and control of the intelligence and enforcement operations of its 17 collection districts nationwide. CMO 25-2022 lays down its guiding principles.

Under CMO 25-2022, COC will act as the overall coordinating and monitoring body of BOC under the direct control and supervision of the Customs commissioner.

Its functions include, among other things, the following:

  • Collecting information
  • Analyzing and summarizing data or information obtained from the different collection districts and offices;
  • Providing the Customs commissioner with regular situational awareness and updates on the operations and activities of all collection districts and relevant offices for informed decision-making and appropriate action; and
  • Monitoring the activities of BOC personnel for violations and infractions and recommending to the Customs commissioner for possible action.

CMO 25-2022 says the COC will be manned by personnel from BOC pooled from various units and offices who are capable of supporting the operational requirements of its various posts or workstations.

The center will be headed by a chief and will be composed of two sections – the Administrative/Logistics Section and the Operations/Productions Section.

The COC will have workstations covering and monitoring radio communications, daily/monthly revenue collections, CCTV cameras, Cargo Targeting System, Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo System, National Customs Enforcement Network, vessel tracking, and x-ray, among other gadgets.

Once the central COC has been fully operationalized, all collection districts should create their own respective local COCs, which should coordinate directly with the central COC for submission of the necessary information needed by the latter, according to CMO 25-2022. – Roumina Pablo