Assistant commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno, who heads the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG), has tendered his resignation, confirmed Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña.
The final decision on the resignation though lies with President Rodrigo Duterte, who appointed Nepomuceno to the post in November 2017, the Customs chief said on March 5.
PCAG, previously known as the Post Entry Audit Group (PEAG), is a reactivated unit in BOC tasked to audit the customs records of importers and customs brokers. The reactivation of PCAG is pursuant to Executive Order No. 46 series of 2017, which was signed by President Duterte on October 20, 2017, transferring back the post-clearance audit function to BOC from the Department of Finance and renaming PEAG as PCAG.
Earlier, Nepomuceno said he plans to jump start PCAG’s operations within February, and has already identified importers and industries to investigate. His resignation throws into question the start of PCAG operations.
In a text message to PortCalls, Nepomuceno said he will return to the private sector to directly manage his projects and businesses.
“I’ll bring in foreign investors and help strengthen the economy. That’s how I can continue helping the President,” he said, adding he will also finish his post-graduate studies.
Nepomuceno said he is waiting for the President’s acceptance of his resignation.
Prior to being an assistant commissioner, Nepomuceno was deputy commissioner for Enforcement Group but resigned on August 29, 2017 to allow Lapeña, who at that time had just been appointed commissioner, to freely choose a replacement.
Nepomuceno, a former Civil Defense executive director, has been with BOC since December 2013 as part of the reform team of the customs bureau. He stayed until the term of the previous administration, and was reappointed to the same position in November last year under the current government. – Roumina Pablo