When one thinks in regards to the Bureau of the Customs (BOC), the subsequent thought is nearly at all times rampant graft and corruption. And for varied causes, many of them totally justified.
But the present management led by Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero is intent on eradicating that stigma stubbornly connected to the federal government company that can rejoice its 119th anniversary tomorrow.
After all, the BOC is remitted to carry out key capabilities, together with assessing and accumulating customs revenues, curbing illicit commerce and facilitating the change of items inside and out of doors the nation’s borders by an environment friendly and efficient customs administration system.
And they imagine they’re effectively on their technique to making BOC obtain its imaginative and prescient to turn out to be “a modern and credible customs administration that will be among the world’s best.”
The BOC, for example, has launched into a large transformation program underpinned by modernization, good governance and values transformation, in line with BOC Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla.
“The many steps we undertook in these areas in the last 12 months, especially, were all aimed at, ultimately, helping the market, including new entrepreneurs as well as big players, improve their business,” Maronilla advised the Inquirer.
These embrace the launch of Customer Care Centers (CCC) in all 17 assortment districts serving as front-line workplaces of the BOC. The CCC is positioned as a one-stop-shop customs hub that serves as a doc receiving and releasing space, fee space, move management issuance middle and knowledge kiosk.
“The CCCs were established to provide optimum convenience for all customers, and to fully implement the no contact policy to eradicate corruption opportunities,” Maronilla mentioned.
The pioneer CCC on the Port of Manila was licensed ISO 9001:2015 in November 2020, indicating its capability to constantly present companies that meet buyer and regulatory necessities.
The BOC goals to safe the same certification for all of its CCCs and workplaces to bolster the general public’s belief and confidence within the company.
The BOC has additionally invested in methods that enable on-line processing of stakeholders’ accreditation, customs paperwork, fee of miscellaneous charges by PayMaya, and monitoring of parcels and shipments. In 2020, the BOC processed accreditations of greater than 17,000 stakeholders by the BOC’s on-line portal.
Then in phrases of operational enchancment, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Maronilla mentioned the BOC diminished purple tape to hasten the submitting of items declaration, evaluation and fee of duties and taxes, and releasing of items.
“The Bureau conducted a Time Release Study in its ports to measure the actual average release time of goods and identify bottlenecks affecting customs clearance. The study in Manila International Container Port shows that the actual customs clearance time for importation was significantly reduced from two days and 10 hours in 2019 to just one day and 22 hours in 2020,” he mentioned.
“In this time of crisis, there is no time and no room for inefficiency as all types of goods call for timeliness and consistency in processing and releasing,” Maronilla confused.
And to stop paralyzing bottlenecks on the ports, the BOC has introduced its yard utilization fee to under 70 p.c, consistent with international requirements and in addition as a response to the loud name from importers to speed up the discharge of items amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The monitoring and supervision of the same significantly prevented the occurrence of port congestion, and allowed the expeditious release of all essential and nonessential goods,” he mentioned.
Also, as half of its aim to align methods and procedures to international benchmarks, the BOC had the important thing ports at Batangas, Manila and Dumaguete ISO-certified and has vowed to undertake all of the suggestions from the World Customs Organization to make sure its commerce facilitation measures are at par with different international locations.
In 2020, the World Bank put aside $88.28 million for the Customs Modernization Program, which is meant to completely automate customs processes, decrease commerce prices, develop new processing methods, and combine key processes right into a single and seamless on-line system that’s similar to international requirements, Maronilla mentioned.
This 12 months, the BOC will spotlight the advance ruling program for stakeholders to make sure constant evaluation of an excellent’s worth, add certainty and predictability to worldwide commerce and absolutely implement the Authorized Economic Operator program to safe seamless buying and selling surroundings throughout borders, all for higher and improved customs transactions, whereas supporting the rebuilding of the financial system. But extra than simply methods and procedures, the present BOC management paid as a lot consideration to values transformation of all the BOC construction and management by instance.
“In the past months, we have been institutionalizing good governance principles, coupled with leadership by example, to show we are sincere and serious in implementing change in the Bureau,” he mentioned. “Our goals, commitments and targets are now, therefore, being aligned with our thrust to hold people accountable.”
“Institutionalization is the name of the game here. Our employees are seeing the changes and are happy and proud of the new efficiencies and better services we are able to provide the public. The new systems and procedures that are now in place will continue even when leaders change because they are now part of our good governance practices,” Maronilla added. INQ
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