Upon hearing the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the first thing that comes to mind for many Filipinos is massive corruption. Second are balikbayan boxes and imported packages. That was before the time of President Rodrigo Duterte. According to its mandate, the BOC administers an effective revenue collection by warding off and stamping out smuggling and entry of prohibited imported goods.
Furthermore, the BOC handles and controls the entrance and release of vessels and aircraft engaged in foreign commerce. It is also in charge of implementing the laws, rules, and ordinances related to Tariff and customs administration.
Given the complex job of the BOC, it is crucial to have a clean, thorough administration that delivers good governance. Fortunately, the good news is that the BOC has improved greatly after six years under President Duterte. So much so that it became a GOLD Governance Trailblazer Awardee.
Island of Good Governance
Last 2019, the BOC registered in the 4-Stage Performance Governance System (PGS) of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA). Led by the BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, BOC undergoes the 4-stages of PGS. Namely, the Initiation Stage, Compliance Stage, Proficiency Stage, and finally, the Institutionalizations Stage.
Then, come April 20, 2022, the Bureau of Customs got the highest Performance Governance System (PGS) award and was recognized as the “Island of Good Governance.” After sequential revalidation and stages, BOC consistently passed and bagged the GOLD Governance Trailblazer Award, the top-notch recognition that ISA could give.
It is a breakthrough for the BOC to foster efficient delivery of services and set a conducive environment for needs and demands. It produces a new foundation of confidence and awareness for its stakeholders and the public.
Stepping into modernization
Amidst all the positive feedback for BOC, it doesn’t stop there. BOC continuously seeks to develop transparent, responsive, and world-class customs management. In fact, there’s a newly launched BOC Customs Operations Center and the automation of 82 of the BOC’s processes. According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, they intend to bring this up to 100% this year.
“With new equipment, including fast patrol boats, body cameras, and mobile x-ray machines, the Bureau should be even more prepared to carry out its mandate,” he said.
Under the Marcos administration, we hope for continued swift operations and services from the Bureau of Customs in the coming years. And soon enough, we will also see the benefits of digitalization and the efficiency of BOC in the country’s economy and our people.
Way to go, BOC!