Customs agent’s promotion questioned


MANILA, Philippines—A promotion of a Customs agent 17 grades higher than his current position is causing a stir in a division of the bureau that is in charge of monitoring smuggling activities in various ports nationwide.

In a complaint filed at the Civil Service Commission (CSC), senior intelligence officer Eric Albano protested the promotion of agent Richard Rebong from his current salary grade of eight to a salary grade of 24 as head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).

The CIIS is monitoring the entry of untaxed goods into the port of Manila and other ports in the provinces.

Recently, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo Lim and his men have intercepted smuggled rice in Cebu, Legazpi City and other ports.

Albano, one of those bypassed by the 17-grade promotion, said in a statement accompanying his complaint that the “quantum leap” upgrade of Rebong’s position did not take into consideration a CSC ruling disqualifying Rebong from the post, which was issued a month after his promotion.

Rebong, however, held on to the position five months after the CSC issued the ruling, according to Albano’s statement.

The CSC ruling said Rebong lacked the required experience to head the CIIS and his appointment violated rules on selection and promotion of government executives.

The CSC said the position of head of CIIS requires a master’s degree, four years of experience in supervisory positions and a second level career service eligibility.

Albano said he would bring the case to the Supreme Court.

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