‘Major move’ in the offing to reform BOC, says Biazon

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Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A “major move” is in the offing that will affect the entire  Bureau  of  Customs, its head said on  Tuesday, a day after  the agency was admonished  by President Benigno Aquino III during his annual address to the nation.

The move, Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon  said, was on top of a revamp that the BOC   plans to  implement even  before   Aquino’s  sharp rebuke  against  the bureau.

“Part of the plan really is a revamp, reshuffle even before the President’s statements. It’s really in the offing,” he said in a phone interview.

“In fact we are also planning a major move with the DOF (Department of Finance), BOC and even Malacañang  and the plan is being prepared,” he said.

Biazon refused, however, to disclose the plan, saying it involves legal issues or   even possible  issuance of executive  orders .

But asked  how this would affect the  agency, the commissioner said: “It will affect the entire bureau, the entire agency. I think it will have an impact similar to the impact of the President’s statements.”

Biazon  immediately offered  his resignation to the President  after his speech  but  Aquino assured him  of his continued  confidence in him.

“Ruffy, we both know the difficulties in the agency you are trying to reform. My confidence in you remains the same,”  the  commissioner quoted the President as saying  also through a text message.

Biazon said he  did not  offer an  irrevocable  resignation  because  he was considering the efforts  that he had already made  to reform  the  bureau.

“I took on the challenge, I did not ask for this post, the President gave it to me. But I took on the challenge because it’s a good accomplishment if I could initiate reforms here,” said the commissioner in a mix of Filipino and English.

It was the  first time  that  a president, he said,  has a clear  political will to reform  the BOC and Biazon said he would like to be part of this  success.

“So if the President   would say  you can  stay and continue the reforms then well and good, I will help out. But I’m still thinking if this is all worth it,” he said.

Biazon said that in his close to two years  in  office, he had not “become part of the  system” within the bureau.

“I have not  been eaten up by the system,”  he said.

The problem of  the bureau, he said, was not just the commissioners but the  entire agency.

Biazon then reiterated his call  for Congress to immediately  act   on key reform measures such as  Customs Modernization Bill and  the proposed amendments to the Tariff and Customs Code.

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