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PIA Press Release

Automation is Customs chief's legacy

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (18 June) -- Bureau of Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales will soon leave the agency with a concrete solution put in place aimed at solving corruption within the bureau.

In his visit to Davao yesterday (June 16), Morales showed confidence that the new commissioner who will take his place would definitely continue what he has started.

Morales institute automation within the bureau through the e-Customs Project; a multi-million grant from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's e-Government fund.

The Project aims primarily to enhance and upgrade BOC's core and support ICT systems nationwide. Through Internet-based and wireless technologies, it will streamline imports and exports processing and improve trade facilitation between BOC and its stakeholders.

"Everywhere we go, there is really corruption. But what we did here is we removed human intervention by upgrading our ICT systems. That was the answer to the problem on corruption." Napoleon said.

Automation resulted to online submission of manifests, import and export declarations, automatic update on entry status, use of Value Added Service Providers, and e-payment through authorized banks.

With the full implementation of the project, Morales expects improved quality of customs service, improved revenue collection, greater customer satisfaction, highly professional workforce, and greater efficiency.

The system, according to Morales has already been instituted and whoever sits as the next commissioner will have to continue and support the system to full implementation.

Right now, BoC has established tighter measures to crack down on the shipments involving fly-by-night players who make transactions through its automation project in the country's major ports.

Even with the presence of technology, Morales sees the need to enhance it further as the bureau found out some loopholes in the system.

Morales said forwarders can no longer deal with BoC unless they get their accreditation and should be on the list of the Philippine Shippers' Bureau, an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The official also recommended for the continued support to sub-ports in each area. This, he said, should be the priority of the next commissioner. (PIA XI) [top]

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