Atienza rejects BOC’s additional P4-B funding
A deputy minority leader in the House of Representatives called on his colleagues to junk the Bureau of Custom’s (BOC) request for additional P4.2 billion funding to fill up the bureau’s vacant positions.
Buhay Rep. and former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza made the statement following the House inquiry into the P6.4 billion worth of shabu that slipped through the BOC’s green lane that implicated the bureau’s officials accused of receiving “tara.”
“Nobody can fix the rampant corruption and gross inadequacy at the BOC. Not even Isidro Lapeña,” Atienza said, referring to the outgoing director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency who was chosen by President Duterte to replace resigned customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
“There’s no point in wasting billions of pesos to double the number of Customs staff,” he added.
Atienza said the BOC is doomed to “fail” to guard against illegal shipments and to collect import duties and taxes, especially because “rotten” customs officials do not want the BOC to succeed in its mandate.
“They want the BOC to stay inefficient because they thrive on inefficiency – because corruption thrives on inefficiency. The day the bureau becomes truly effective at its job is also the day corrupt examiners and agents lose their lucrative rackets,” Atienza said.
Atienza suggested for Congress to require prior screening overseas of all shipments destined for the Philippines.
“Once we have pre-shipment inspection, the BOC will actually need fewer staff, because the bureau will be performing less work,” Atienza said.
In the proposed P3.767-trillion budget for 2018, the BOC requested Congress to fund an additional P4.2 billion annually to fill up 3,233 vacant positions.
Only 3,031 of the bureau’s 6,264 authorized positions have been filled up as of latest.
“As long as we have systemic corruption at the BOC, officials and staff there will continue to find ways to circumvent reforms,” Atienza said. JE
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