BOC vows to bar illegal drugs shipments through sea ports » Manila Bulletin News

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By Camcer Ordonez Imam 

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Newly-appointed Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has vowed to stop the entry of illegal drugs via the sea ports, which accounts for 70 percent of the total illegal drugs being slipped into the Philippines.

Isidro Lapeña (rightmost)
(PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Lapeña, former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director, said President Duterte’s No. 1 mandate to him is to stop corruption. Number 2, he said is to raise revenue collection.

Lapeña was here Friday, Sept. 15, to show support and give recognition to Iligan Sub-port Customs Collector John P. Simon, who was named awardee for good performance in ​public service by the Civil Service Commission.

“It’s a visit to Cagayan de Oro BOC, as well. In fact, I had visited some offices and had a talk with the men and women of BOC District 10 to know what they need and also to see some of their accomplishments and get positive info. There are a lot of things that need to be done,” Lapeña said.

When asked what concerns were raised by BOC-10 personnel, Lapeña said one concern was promotion of personnel, even as he vowed to give it priority. “Some have been in the bureau for 20 years and have not been promoted. So, this new admin, especially those in the internal management” will have to look at these concerns, said Lapeña.

Aside from promotion, Lapeña said his administration will fill vacant positions because he said there is a shortage of personnel in the bureau, with some personnel doing multi-tasking.

Lapeña said some 3,000 positions in the plantilla are vacant, and so he said the bureau will hire personnel to fill them in.

Top officials from the BOC-10 also accompanied the new commissioner to the Designated Examination Area at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, and showed him several container vans confiscated by BOC 10’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service with cargos such as onions, “cho-chop” or used vehicle parts, and used clothing locally known as “ukay-ukay”.

Lapeña said he has not abandoned the campaign against illegal drugs. “This is about public service. Hindi naman maiiwanan ang campaign against illegal drugs because, according to Lapena, 70 percent of illegal drugs’ enter the country through the sea ports.

“That’s substantial. From clandestine laboratories, illegal drug traders have shifted to bulk shipments to enter the country,” Lapeña said.

The No. 2 mandate from President Duterte, Lapeña said, is for him to improve revenue collection in the BOC, the 2nd highest source of revenue of the government.

“Binigyan ako ng revenue target ng Secretary of Finance,” he said.

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