Saturday, October 20, 2018
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Alvarez spared the ax, starts revamp at Customs

MANILA, Philippines—Having won a reprieve from President Aquino, Customs commissioner Angelito Alvarez started cleaning house at the Bureau of Customs.

Alvarez said he has revamped the heads for intelligence in all of the country’s 18 collection districts while “reviewing” the performance of all BOC units.

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“We revamped all the heads of intelligence. It’s about time because many of them have been in their posts for more than three years or even five years,” Alvarez said.

President Aquino earlier hinted of a top-to-bottom revamp at the Bureau of Customs. But last week, the Chief Executive denied rumors that he had replaced Alvarez with businesswoman Elizabeth Lee.

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“I’m glad. That will give you more reason to work hard but I cannot be so complacent because, as a presidential appointee, you work at the pleasure of the President,” Alvarez said.

He said he designated new officers-in-charge to key positions in the Bureau’s Intelligence Service in a bid to improve operational efficiency in the monitoring, detection and foiling of smuggling activities.

Alvarez said the shakeup covered almost the entire network of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the regional, district and sub-port levels under the leadership of CIIS Director and acting Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Filomeno Vicencio Jr.

He added that the rotation and re-deployment plan was implemented to ensure that customs intelligence and investigation agents, on the one hand, and port users, on the other, do no not become “too familiar and comfortable with one another.”

He said a BOC official’s stay in his post should not exceed three years and that they might even be removed “within a few months” if they are not performing.

“Sometimes, people just close their eyes because of these friendships. For example, after I revamped our office in Cagayan de Oro, for the first time in years they achieved their collection target,” Alvarez said.

Given new assignments were Liceo Martinez as OIC for the Visayas Region, Oswaldo Geli for the Mindanao Region and Rolando Sacramento for Southern Luzon, Alvarez said.

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Over at the country’s two premier ports, Marissa Rae Galang was designated OIC for the Manila International Container Port vice Bienvenido Rubio, who took over Galang’s old CIIS post at the Port of Manila, Alvarez added.

He said the revamp also affected Manolo Arevalo, who was shifted from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the Port of Cebu; Rico Rey Francis Holganza from the Port of Cebu to the NAIA; Ernesto Aguirrechea from the Shipside & Outside CY/CFS Unit to the Port of Batangas and its sub-ports; Aris de Guzman from the Port of Subic and Limay to the Shipside & Outside CY/CFS Unit; Alexander Atienza from the Port of Batangas, Legaspi and its sub-ports to the Port of Limay and its sub-ports.

Alvarez said Javier Alpano was also transferred from the Visayas Region office to the Port of Subic; Carmelita Valeroso from the Operations Section of the Investigation Division to the PEZA in Cavite and Laguna; Danilo Umacob, Jr. from the PEZA in Cavite and Laguna to the Port of Clark; Alvin Enciso from the CIIS Investigation Division to Head of the CIIS Postal Office; and, Willie Sarmiento from the Office of the Director to the Post-Entry Audit Group (PEAG).

Alvarez said he also relieved Nemesio Magno, Jr. of his other responsibilities as acting assistant chief of the Investigation and Prosecution Division so he could focus on his main job as Vicencio’s chief of Staff. He also assigned Eric Albano as Head of Special Operations and assistant chief of the Intelligence Division in a concurrent capacity.

The CIIS collects and evaluates data and information on acts of economic sabotage and investigates cases involving violations of customs, tariff laws and regulations.

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