New BOC chief Alberto Lina vows to finish reforms using 5 principles | Inquirer Business

New BOC chief Alberto Lina vows to finish reforms using 5 principles

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:34 AM April 25, 2015

Newly appointed Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina on Friday said he would continue and finish the reforms started by his predecessor John Phillip Sevilla at the agency perceived as the most corrupt in the country, using “five general principles for reform” to underpin his administration.

“Commissioner Sunny [Sevilla’s nickname], do not worry. Everything that you started I will continue and I will finish,” Lina said during the turnover ceremony at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday.

Before he launched his program, Lina thanked Sevilla for his “huge sacrifices for the country.”


“I was moved by what he said yesterday (Friday) that ‘serving the country was the biggest honor in his life,’” he said.


Lina, who said his return to the bureau was “some kind of sentimental journey,” intends to revitalize the agency through his five general principles of reform—honesty and integrity; fair, efficient, speedy and hospitable service; elimination of corruption; decongestion of the country’s ports; and performance management.

He said that under his watch, honesty and integrity will be inculcated among BOC employees’ work ethic.


“President Aquino’s mandate of daang matuwid will be the foundation of all our actions, the be-all and end-all of all our efforts,” he said.

Lina pledged to level the playing field “by ensuring efficient, speedy and hospitable service”

“A positive image should be the first, continuing and lasting impression that our clients must carry with them. A happy and satisfied customer always comes back,” he said.

War vs corruption

Lina will also work to eliminate corruption in the bureau. “Corruption is one of the biggest impediments to economic growth and prosperity in the country. We must battle this with a combination of factors—increased awareness, appropriate technology and resolute action on violators. We will continue to be as transparent with our data. We will light up the darkest corners where this malady lingers,” he said.

Lina said he would further decongest the country’s ports by “improving our systemic interventions adapting to a growing economy getting busier every season.”

“We will rally all stakeholders in this collaborative effort, such as the importers, exporters, forwarders, customs brokers, shipping lines, port owners, port users, trucking companies and all involved in the supply chain. We shall draw the support of regulatory agencies such as the local government units, the Metro Manila Development Authority, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Philippine National Police and other institutions whose actions are necessary to achieve this goal,” he said.

And lastly, Lina said he will focus on “performance management” to improve the agency’s operations.

“The optimum performance of each and every officer and employee will be the hallmark of our organization. While success could be considered its own reward, meritorious performance will also be recognized and appropriate rewards will be made available to the deserving,” he said.

‘Hit the ground running’

While he has only a little over a year as Customs chief, being coterminus with Mr. Aquino, Lina urged BOC employees to “hit the ground running.”

“We will move faster than usual. Speed, integrity and efficiency will be our trademarks. The challenge is on all of us. We will have to work even more closely with each other,” he said.

“I would like you to know that I consider my appointment or reappointment to the bureau as a rare privilege and another opportunity to serve the country,” he said.

Lina was the Customs chief during [then President Gloria Macapagal-] Arroyo administration before he and nine other senior officials, called the Hyatt 10, quit government at the height of the “Hello Garci” controversy in July 2005. Lina and Purisima are both part of Hyatt 10.

He said he accepted the challenge because of “love of country.”

Time to give back

“At this stage of my life, it is time to give back. Those who know me, know what that statement means and what it truly entails. Hard work, long hours we are willing to endure. And the personal sacrifices and comforts that we are willing to forego to get the job done,” he said.

Immediately after the turnover ceremony, Customs police formed a line to shield Lina from journalists eager to ask questions, after Sevilla’s resignation came as a shock to many people who had hoped that a man with a “clean” reputation like Sevilla might finally reform the graft-ridden bureau.

The BOC had advised the media earlier that the turnover ceremony “will be for coverage only.”

“We will hold a press meet and greet with the new commissioner on a separate date. This is to ensure [the] smooth transition of leadership,” the BOC said in its media advisory sent out early Friday.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, whose department oversees the BOC, left immediately after the turnover ceremony.

But Sevilla spent a few minutes to shake hands with well-wishers and honored requests for photos.


BOC chief quits, cites politics

Alberto Lina is new Customs chief

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.


TAGS: Alberto Lina, Bureau of Customs, Cesar Purisima, Corruption, daang matuwid, John Phillip Sevilla

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Curated business news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.