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Not all BOC personnel in new unit coming to work

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Of the 64 senior officials and personnel of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) who were transferred to the recently created Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO) at the Department of Finance (DOF) building, only 42 are “actively reporting” for work, according to the chief of the BOC’s Public Information and Assistance Division (PIAD).

Charo Logarta-Lagamon, in a text message to the Inquirer, said Sunday that seven of these officials never reported for work, another seven retired, while five resigned.

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Lagamon did not identify the personnel of the DOF-attached agency who observers said were actually placed on “floating status.”

The PIAD head has yet to check on the three Customs officials who were recently transferred to the CPRO: Elvira Cruz, district collector of the Port of Limay in Bataan; Rolando Sacramento, chief of the Intelligence Unit of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Division, and intelligence officer Jimmy Guban.

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Lagamon said Guban had formally requested to be transferred to the CPRO.

According to the staff at the BOC’s Intelligence Group, Guban was the “subject of an internal investigation” about his alleged involvement in some work-related irregularities.

Earlier, the following Customs personnel were detailed to the CPRO: Assistant Commissioner Ericson Alcovendaz of the Post Entry Audit Group; Director George Aliño of the Enforcement Security Service; Director Fernando Tuason of the Intelligence and Investigation Service; Director Simplicio Domingo of the Legal Service; Collector Remedios Espinosa; Special Police chief Jose Brigido Yuchongco; Special Police Lt. Cesar Albano, and Intelligence Division agent Richard Rebong, among others.

The BOC said the CPRO, created under Executive Order No. 140 and issued on Sept. 2, 2013, was the agency’s “think tank for medium—to long-term policy and legislative reforms.”

In its 2013 accomplishment report, the bureau referred to the CPRO as a “specialized agency under the Department of Finance whose main task is to help improve revenue collections by providing the necessary policy, procedural and legislative reforms.”

On its website, the BOC explained the creation of the CPRO was part of the agency’s reform program to “uproot corruption and reboot Customs.”

“A long history of backroom deals, institutionalized theft and impunity have made the bureau one of the most prominent faces of corruption in government,” it noted.

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But “this is beginning to change. Drastic shifts in leadership, personnel and processes are already taking place as a result of the administration’s comprehensive reform agenda,” the BOC said.

“Our aims are to revitalize the bureaucracy, uproot the culture of corruption and jump-start a virtuous cycle of integrity and true public service in the BOC,” it added.

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO), Philippines, transferred employees
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