The Bureau of Customs is now preparing the bidding process for different project components of its modernization program following loan approval by the World Bank
A special bids and awards committee will be formed for procurement of different project components
The modernization project will revamp the entire Customs operations
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now preparing for the bidding of different project components of its modernization program following approval of its loan by the World Bank (WB).
“We’re preparing for the bid documents and bidding process for the different facets of the Customs modernization program,” Assistant commissioner and spokesperson Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla said in a presentation during a recent webinar hosted by the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines.
The WB last October approved the US$88 million loan for the Philippines Customs Modernization Project.
Maronilla said the project will cover “a revamp and revitalization of the entire Customs system, doing away with the old system now.”
The project was first introduced by WB in 2017, and was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee on March 6, 2020.
It 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 ensuring project development objectives are met.
BOC earlier said it will establish a project management unit with the overall responsibility for project implementation. A special bids and awards committee will also be formed for the procurement of the different project components.
The project is expected to improve the country’s customs administration through streamlining, automation, and development of a world-class customs processing system (CPS), WB said in an earlier statement.
Traders, exporters, importers, port operators, shipping companies, and transport providers are expected to directly benefit through reduced transaction costs and enhanced predictability and transparency of the clearance process.
With the modern customs processing system or 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, and post clearance audit, and other transaction processes that are vulnerable to corruption.
The project involves three components, according to the project’s datasheet dated February 2020 available at the WB website.
The first component will modernize customs operations by improving BOC’s core CPS, related technical infrastructure, and internal capacity to enable the operation of a sophisticated information and communications technology.
This component will also enhance BOC’s operational effectiveness, integrity, accountability, and organizational performance. It will also strengthen fraud- and contraband-detection capabilities to eliminate waiting time for scanning, streamline overall inspection processes; reduce time to release legitimate trade; modernize BOC inspection processes; and improve trader perception of BOC business processes.
The second component, organizational development, will support BOC’s move to modernize customs administration by implementing, through the CPS, updated customs procedures that will create new responsibilities and demands for BOC’s workforce.
The third component, project management and implementation support, creates a project management and quality assurance consultancy to support BOC during project implementation. – Roumina Pablo