Purisima hails customs despite decline in revenue collectionsBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Despite the steady decline in the Bureau of Customs’ revenue collections due to globalization, trade liberalization and a sluggish international trade, among other factors, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima cited the BOC for what he called a “dramatic improvement” in the public image of the Department of Finance-attached agency.
In the BOC’s 58-page accomplishment report, he pointed out that “2012 will probably be remembered best as the year when the bureau’s public image began to improve dramatically as demonstrated by the results of the public trust ratings survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations.”
The same year, he said, will also be remembered as the period “when its efforts to prosecute smugglers finally resulted in convictions.”
“And although 2012 revenue collections fell short of the annual target, the bureau still managed to produce a 9.3 percent increase with total collections reaching P289.85 billion, compared to P265.1 billion in 2011,” he noted.
According to Purisima, the BOC “has kept up its efforts to modernize systems and processes, as well as instill the proper values among its officials and the rank and file.”
“The bureau and its men and women will have to vigorously pursue these programs of modernization, reforms and moral transformation if it aims to meet the growing challenges it faces now and in the future,” he said.
For his part, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said it was “encouraging to see positive changes taking place in the bureau and even more gratifying to realize that the Filipino people have taken notice of them.”
“The results of the latest SWS survey showed a reversal of our bureau’s embarrassing plunge in our people’s esteem with the public trust rating rising from minus-69 percent in 2009 to minus-45 percent in September 2012,” he also said.
The former Muntinlupa City legislator also observed they “scored unprecedented, final victories in our drive against smuggling when three cases ended in the conviction of the accused by our courts of law.”
“It is to be hoped that these criminal convictions will put the fear of the law not only among businessmen and brokers but also among some of our own people in the bureau,” he said.