Huwebes, Setyembre 7, 2017



By: Ver M. Garcia & Teddy Cho

 Former Customs Commissioner is the only Filipino Customs head to chair the ASEAN and APEC meetings on customs procedures. His advocacy to rid customs of graft and corruption has been proven effective during his term as customs deputy and as commissioner. He rose from the ranks serving the Bureau for 41 years and the only non-political appointee. He is a CPA-lawyer and a licensed customs broker. He is no other than Lawyer Titus B. Villanueva.

            The top to the bottom corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) involving some employees of the BOC, hugged the headlines recently and particularly the payola’s and the welcome gifts given to the government officials whether it can be substantiated or not. The fact is still staring at us, we cannot afford to be silent on the issue. We must expressed our views and opinions to provide an alternative solutions. Though the issue of technical smuggling was sidetrack by the enormous amount of corruption. The threat of technical smuggling being done at the top level from the country of origin to our country reveals a very important Octopus connection of organized crime and has not been properly addressed and identified due to the indifference of some employees of the Bureau involved in corruption and technical smuggling, The eight point reform program formulated during the administration of Atty. Titus Villanueva will allow the government to focus on terrorism and transnational crime issues that is perennially prevailing globally and locally. The most recent cyber attacks on the biggest shipping company last June and the recent BOC shabu shipment worth P6.4 billion that went pass through the authorities reveals an upgraded version of technical smuggling.

            Lawyer Titus Villanueva a former Customs Commissions who formulated the Eight Point reform agenda whose integrity and character is beyond reproached. Who authored the RANK and a second edition of the book which will be introduce to the public soon. He formulated the 8 point reform agenda  will reduce the corruption to the barest minimum.


            Recent events and controversies confirmed that technical smuggling, graft and corruptions inside and outside of BOC is still happening at the BOC in this controversial institution. Apparently, its wise to be proactive before technical smuggling occurs to determine corruption requires skills, wisdom and experience and a reliable database.

            The logic and wisdom of the Eight Point reform programs clearly reared its head in the recent fiasco. The eight point reform programs are as follows:

  1.      Simplification of documents
  2.    Determination of time of processing of customs documents.
3             Limitation of the number of days of processing customs documents.
4        Reduction of the number of signatures required in the processing of customs documents.
5        Conduct of moral regeneration seminar for customs employees.
6            Use of the selectivity system by identification of the legitimate and less legitimate importers.
7        Hiring of pre-shipment inspectors (PSI) or adoption of Import Supervision System (ISS).
     8.              Computerization of customs operation.


            From reform program no. 1 up to no. 5 focuses on the documents (legitimate), processing and human intervention. It involves knowing where the cargoes, the country of origin, the shipper, the importers, the content of the packing list, and the description of the merchandise are needed for government use for risk assessment. In reform no. 5 not only moral regeneration seminars for customs employees and importers but continuous professional development of personnel should be provided to qualified personnel.

            The use of reform no. 6 “Selectivity System by Identification of legitimate and less legitimate importers and the hiring of pre-shipment inspectors (PSI) – reform no. 7 were removed and bypassed by the organized crime group prove that its effective in hindering technical smuggling. Effective implementation of the Eight Reform Programs plus the application of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and appropriate technologies (x-ray machines, cctv cameras and etc.) available at hand which includes the upgraded version of computerization and the use of drones, strategically placed CCTV.

Principles of transparency and accountability involves being truthful and honest in words and actions to oneself, to your nation and to God, but not in a proper order, it should be that employees should first be truthful and honest to God (in terms of principles and teachings); to one’s fellowmen (whether you’re a Nationalist or globalist); to oneself (which involves your family and friends) Graft and corruption starts whenever these two occurs!

1.      Institutional/structural reforms are changed and when institutional/structural policies and procedures are violated and culprits escape with impunity.
2.      Employees consignees, importers who compromise their principles and beliefs in lieu of favors and monetary benefits from organized crime syndicates.

A former commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and now a lawmaker has proposed an accreditation system of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) meant to stop unscrupulous use of fake or a third party consignees.

There is a need for truthfulness in filling out of forms and in the database inputted digitally. Computer hacking is an upgraded version of technical smuggling. No wonder three months have passed although there was crimes committed yet criminals are not to be found. Fortunately fraudulent testimonies of those involved in graft and corruption. Artificial intelligence and technology facilitated the early detection of fraud and corruption, but human intervention (human factor) always provides an important role as game changer. Artificial intelligence (AI) ensures access to high quality fresh data, enabled by a solid real-time data management backbone, which can aggregate, filter, recognize and analyze real-time batch data both structured and unstructured and from both first and third party data sources.

The task of the government thru the BOC, legislative and BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), DOF (Department of Finance), PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) is to create another institutional/structural policies reforms which can be compared to a precise surgical team in taking out the cancerous cell (Graft and corruption) out of the patients (society and government bureaucracy. Through decentralization, cooperation, coordination by careful monitoring of policies, reforms implemented. There must be several checks and balance which have always been sacrificed at the expense of convenience and deadlines.

In conclusion we believe that the Eight Point reform agenda should be applied in order to curve or eliminate graft and corruption at the BOC. We urgently request immediate and precise action and intervention of the executive, legislative and local government units to consider these wise words of John C. Maxwell.

To lead others to do right is wonderful.
To do right and then lead them is more wonderful.
-          John C. Maxwell

Timing is everything, The right set-up will keep an organization from having a wrong setback.
-          John C. Maxwell

Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest. (VerGarciaBlogs)

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