Jica extends technical assistance to BOC | Inquirer Business

Jica extends technical assistance to BOC

MANILA  -The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is supporting the Bureau of Customs through “proactive sharing of best practices” amid efforts to boost the BOC’s modernization projects.

In particular, Jica designated customs expert Katsu Shigeaki, whom the BOC expects to provide needed timely and strategic technical assistance and capacity-building support to further improve customs processes and good governance.

The BOC said in a statement that through the best practices, Jica can effectively guide the customs bureau in its push for credible and modernized customs administration, including the re-establishment of the much needed Customs Laboratory.


Currently, the BOC is implementing trade facilitation programs and is digitizing customs processes and operations.


In 2022, seven digitization projects were rolled out, including the Liquidation and Billing System, Electronic Customs Baggage and Currencies Declaration (iDeclare) System, Raw Materials Liquidation System, National Customs Intelligence System, E2M-ETRACC Integration, Payment Application Secure 6, and Asean Customs Declaration Document System.

In a related development, Jica is also helping the Department of Health in using artificial intelligence in computer-aided early detection of tuberculosis.

In a statement, the Japanese state agency noted that the Philippines has the highest TB incidence in the world, and deaths from this disease in 2020 alone reached 31,000.

With the use of an AI-assisted computer aided detection (CAD) technology developed by Japanese firm Fujifilm, TB may be detected “in seconds.”

The introduction of this technology in the systematic screening and rapid diagnosis of TB is part of a cooperation between Jica and the DOH’s National TB Control Program.

This was first used in a pilot program in Muntinlupa City last July in partnership with City Hall and the Putatan Health Center.


During the pilot, radiologists determined that 32 patients had pulmonary TB, out of 382 suspected TB cases detected by the AI-powered CAD.

Detecting TB at very earlier stages helps decrease turnaround time for screening results and initiation of treatment.

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According to Jica, its cooperation in the Philippine health sector showed that new Japanese technology has the most potential to overcome health bottlenecks and expand access to quality healthcare.

TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Jica, technical assistance

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