BOC creates legal office vs smugglers
By Rose B. Palacio
Davao City (8 December) -- Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Napoleon Morales ordered Customs regional offices throughout the country to set up a legal team that will pursue cases filed against suspected smugglers.
The Legal and Prosecution group will be tasked to prosecute, undertake monitoring and enforcement of Customs laws.
BOC aims to crack down smugglers and improve the revenue collection program of the government, said Davao Customs Collector Atty. John Tan.
The creation of the legal prosecution group is in line with the Customs's objective to assist the government in its campaign to Run After the Smugglers (RAT) and properly file cases in court against suspected smugglers.
The legal team is part of the bureau's rationalization plan pursuant to the Attrition Law and the government's commitment to the anti-corruption drive being promoted in the Millenninum Challenge Account Threshold Country Plan.
Earlier, Commissioner Morales announced the BOC has already filed 152 cases of smuggling against 395 individuals under the government's RAT program.
The BOC has been taking steps to address the needs of local port users using the five key areas -- revenue enhancement, trade facilitation, enforcement, professionalism and computerization.
Davao Customs Collector Atty. Tan said the reforms spearheaded by Commissioner Morales is underway and that the drive against illegal activities within the agency is being intensified. (PIA-XI) [top]