President Rodrigo Duterte is proposing to do away with customs brokers and examiners from the customs system, saying doing so would “cut corruption overnight”.
“Ang gusto ko, wala nang brokers (What I want is that there are no more brokers),” Duterte told reporters in Malacañang Tuesday night. “Pagka may brokers, may corruption talaga ‘yan. Ngayon, sinasabi ko, sabihin mo sa Pilipino, kung gusto talaga nila walang corruption, tanggalin na natin ‘yan mga ano gross, wala nang examiner sa Customs, wala nang brokers (There’s corruption if there are brokers. So I say if you don’t want corruption, eliminate examines and brokers),” he added.
Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc president Adonis Carmona in a television interview appealed to Duterte not to push the proposal.
He said this would close down 85 schools and universities offering the Bachelor of Science in Customs Administration course and displace the current 11,900 licensed customs brokers.
He said customs brokers play an important role in the customs clearance process, having unique technical knowledge on such issues as goods valuation. Brokers also help government with revenue generation when they ensure the correct duties and taxes are collected, he said.
Duterte said he did not need a law to remove brokers from the BOC. “I am the executive of this government. There are things which I have to do that Congress cannot tinker with. Those are one of them because that is to save the country from perdition,” he said.
Duterte, however, said this was just a proposal, but urged the BOC not to transact with people who deal with brokers.
“You ignore the brokers. You — you go to a broker, I will not deal with you,” the President said.