New Customs chief scraps Faeldon creation | Inquirer News

New Customs chief scraps Faeldon creation

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 07:19 AM September 03, 2017

Isidro Lapeña PDEA Bureau of Customs Chief

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña. File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer

Newly appointed Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has ordered the abolition of the command center (Comcen) his predecessor Nicanor Faeldon created during his term.

“The commissioner ordered the abolition of Comcen,” said Bureau of Customs (BOC) legal division chief Alvin Ebreo.


During the turnover ceremony last week, Lapeña said, “If that is not in the law, it will be removed. The command center will be stricken out.”


The Comcen was tasked to provide the commissioner with “intelligence data from all collection districts of the bureau.”

Faeldon said the center, which was under his direct supervision, was supported by personnel from the bureau offices.

This was composed of the intelligence group, enforcement group, assessment, operation and coordinating group, revenue collection monitoring group, management information system and technology group, risk management office, X-ray inspection project and account management office.

Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chair of the House dangerous drugs committee, earlier questioned the efficiency of the Comcen in curtailing smuggling during a probe on the P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs shipment that slipped past the BOC.

‘Never heard’

Barbers noted that “before, we have never heard of billions worth of ‘shabu.’”


In the same hearing, Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Maximo Rodriguez also claimed that the Comcen “facilitated the movement of the shabu contraband.”

The drug smuggling attempt, the existence of the “tara” system in the release of container shipments and other corruption scandals have sparked proposals to “internationalize” the BOC setup.

Party-list lawmakers Rep. Neil Abayon of Aangat Tayo and Rep. Aniceto Bertiz of NACTS-OFW on Saturday pushed for the participation of foreign firms in a bidding for local customs and tariff operations.


“We need world-class customs, tariff and border control systems,” said Abayon. “For these, we need to outsource from overseas because what we have here simply does not work the way we all want it to work.”

Bertiz said the internationalization of the customs operations would give the BOC “breathing and reform space.”

Abayon also said he did not agree to the recommendation of Barbers’ panel, of which he is a member, to replace the entire BOC with a new agency.

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“Simply abolishing the BOC does not mean no more shipments of drugs will slide through the corrupted system,” he said. —With a report from DJ Yap


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