Biazon: BOC must be promoter of tradeBy Fatima Reyes
MANILA, Philippines – Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Tuesday said that he wanted his agency to be viewed as a “trade facilitation agency.”
Interviewed by Radyo Inquirer 990AM, Biazon said that the changing times must engage people to change their traditional perspective of the BOC as only a revenue collecting agency.
“Sa pagbabago ng panahon, kami na ay nag-evolve. Hindi na lang kami taga-kolekta ng duties kung hindi taga-promote na rin ng trade. Trade facilitation mode na tayo dapat ngayon (In these changing times, we (BOC) have evolved. We are not only an agency collecting duties but also a promoter of trade. We have to be in “trade facilitation mode),” Biazon said.
Biazon said an improvement in trade facilitating efforts would increase transactions with importers and exporters.
Biazon also expressed fear that reforms in the BOC would take a long time but noted that projects were being implemented to improve the agency.
Biazon said the agency has been pushing for an automated system of transactions in the hope that a “national single window” would help make government agencies interconnected, rendering all paper transactions electronic. He said the project would take two years to be fully complete and functional.
Biazon said that in last week’s meeting among heads of customs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, they discussed ways on how to prepare their respective countries for a possible “ASEAN single window” by 2015.
Biazon disclosed that reforms in the agency were also being challenged by legal battles, adding that there would always be people who would counter his proposed projects.
He cited as an example his order for the dissolution of the agency’s entry processing unit, which was challenged by a temporary restraining order filed by opposing parties.
“Yung legal issue na ’yan naging legal battle pa tuloy para lang mag-implement ng isang reform measure.’ Yan yung difficulties na hinaharap natin sa system na ito. Meron talagang kokontra nang kokontra (The legal issue became a legal battle against a reform measure. These are difficulties faced by the system. There would always be opposing parties),” he said.
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