FPI: Ruffy Biazon is the ‘right man for the job, but…’

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Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon is the “right man for the right job” because like President Aquino, Biazon is honest, according to the chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI).

“Honesty is a very important trait a leader must have. We believe he is an honest person. No doubt about it. That is why we are strongly supporting his reform initiatives at the Bureau of Customs (BOC),” said Jesus Arranza, who heads the 103-member FPI.

However, Biazon “also has some shortcomings. And it’s understandable because nobody’s perfect,” he said.

“He’s too nice. He needs to be tough, actually, a lot tougher because he’s dealing with a corrupt-ridden agency. Incidentally, the same agency is engaged in a campaign against smuggling,” Arranza said.

Biazon said he appreciated the FPI’s “statement of support.” But as to his being too nice, “it’s just my pleasant disposition,” he said.

He said he was not so nice that he would “easily give in to pressure, granting favors and dealing with my people.”

“When I make a decision, I am not swayed by influence and neither do I back down from it,” he said.

Arranza joined Biazon’s call for politicians to “stay away from the Bureau of Customs.”

“The BOC must be insulated and isolated from politicians for the agency’s antismuggling campaign to succeed,” he said.

Biazon recently proposed that the customs bureau be insulated from political patronage and influence through Congress’ passing a law to prohibit “the endorsement or recommendation by persons of influence in the hiring or promotion of BOC personnel.”

This, among other reform measures, would greatly contribute to the antismuggling efforts of the government, he said.

According to Arranza, the customs bureau’s failure to curb smuggling is “not entirely the fault of the commissioner.”

“Customs personnel hired through the intercession of an undisclosed number of politicians are also to blame for the bureau’s current smuggling woes,” he said.

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