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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 06, 2012


Customs ICT Systems Rescue get P192.6-M

MANILA, Jan. 6 --To immediately address the information and communications technology (ICT) needs of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Department of Budget and Management infused P192.6 million to upgrade and rehabilitate its critical systems for revenue generation.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the P192.6 million will be used for the procurement of ICT goods and services to address crucial points of failure across BOC computerized systems nationwide.

“As we work toward improved revenue administration to generate more resources for socio-economic projects, we have to address and pre-empt potential problems stemming from our revenue agencies’ outdated or overloaded ICT systems,” he said.

“As soon as BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon came on board, the bureau began actively pushing for these digitization projects to reform customs operations and increase revenue intake,” Abad added, noting that the BOC also has other ICT projects in the pipeline, such as the Online X-Ray Imaging System and the Petroleum Inventory System.

The funding for the agency’s points of failure will be included in its Information Technology Infrastructure Maintenance Project and its 2012 Information Systems Strategic Plan. The BOC earlier confirmed that its national ICT systems have begun to suffer from frequent downtimes caused by technical problems in its ICT infrastructure.

Among the identified points of failure within the BOC’s IT systems are: a) servers reaching end-of-life status and risking a total crash at any given time, b) expiry of several software licenses, c) higher occurrences of equipment breakdown, d) compromised network ability to cope with the increasing number of import transactions, and e) databases nearing full capacity, requiring the immediate creation of comprehensive archives.

Likewise, there is a growing demand in the BOC for information sharing/exchange in the agency’s official website, particularly among regular site visitors and other government agencies in need of data.

“The significance of the IT funding is underscored by our standing as ‘Pilot Country’ for the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) project in 2012. This is clearly a matter not only of national revenues but also of national honor,” Abad said.

The ASEAN member-states agreed to establish the ASW, which involves developing and inter-connecting national single windows, as well as harmonizing data transactions across ASEAN. The ASW will allow the ASEAN trading community to process the clearance of goods at the border through the single submission of data, as well as simultaneous and expeditious processing and decision-making.(DBM)

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