Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » Customs chief to relieve CIIS team

All members of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) will be relieved from office, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has announced.

Lapeña, during the Bureau of Customs (BOC) flag ceremony on November 27, said he will be relieving all CIIS members as part of his “one-strike” policy at the customs bureau, which has already seen the relief of 125 employees and officials from different offices.

He said that in his three months in office as customs chief, he has not received a single intelligence report from CIIS, a unit under the Intelligence Group (IG).

“Until now, I am not receiving intelligence report on what’s happening in the bureau,” Lapeña said, noting that the reports he has been receiving, such as misdeclaration and undervaluation of goods, have come from other BOC officials instead.

The customs chief said he is giving newly appointed IG Deputy Commissioner Ricardo Quinto a “free hand” in enhancing the intelligence group. Quinto, who Lapeña took with him from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), replaced Teddy Sandy Raval, who has been assigned as deputy commissioner of BOC’s Enforcement Group.

In a press conference on the same day, Lapeña said the relief of the CIIS members may come within the week.

Aside from relieving and reshuffling personnel, Lapeña said that as part of the bureau’s reorganization, BOC is also creating an internal affairs unit to handle cases involving customs personnel, and a counterintelligence unit to monitor and confirm reports of erring personnel, especially those still accepting tara (grease money).

He admitted that there is still tara in BOC even with some reforms put in place, but that the bureau “will eventually catch up.”

The customs chief said that aside from creating new units, BOC is also fast-tracking the full automation of the agency in order to eradicate corruption and face-to-face transaction.

The bureau is also continuing the promotion of personnel, as well as the filling up of the 3,326 vacant plantilla positions, which is a priority by new Internal Administration Group Deputy Commissioner Gladys Rosales.

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