Faeldon defends BOC hiring of athletes
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon defended on Friday the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) decision to hire athletes to work as “technical assistants” as they help promote to the people the good image of the agency.
“The first thing we need to bridge is the gap between the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Filipino people and we need to bring in effective communicators, so iconic players like Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino who have millions of Filipino followers because the Filipinos love basketball,” Faeldon said in a televised press conference.
The BOC chief said that the athletes conduct sports clinics for children and dependents of BOC employees and at the same time get feedback from the community of their sentiments against the agency.
The athletes, he said, also help raise the public’s trust and confidence for the bureau.
It was revealed at the recent hearing of the House of Representatives that almost 40active and retired athletes were hired by the BOC as technical assistants in 2016. Seven of them, including Duremdes and Alyssa Valdez, were reportedly placed under the Office of the Commissioner, while 19 others were under the Intelligence Group.
Lawyer Mandy Anderson, Faeldon’s chief of staff, said the athletes have been effective because from less than 1,000 followers, BOC Facebook page increased to 200,000 followers. (A quick check on Facebook, however, showed that the agency currently has more than 128,000 followers as of Friday afternoon)
Faeldon explained that these athletes double as intelligence agents for the BOC “because no one expects them to be there,” confirming reports that some pf players are under the BOC’s intelligence unit.
“That is precisely (why) they are there. Why? Because nobody expects them to be (doing the) gathering (of) information (for) the bureau. So they are the most effective intelligence information gatherer,” Faeldon said.
“But today they are no longer effective because it has been exposed, their cover has been exposed,” the commissioner added.
During the House hearing on Thursday, Batangas Representative Raneo Abu and Quirino Representative Dakila Cua questioned the athletes’ qualification to the work for the BOC.
Faeldon, however, maintained that the BOC consulted lawyers before hiring the athletes, including Commission on Audit Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo. JPV
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