Improve bureau’s image, Sevilla challenges Customs personnel

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Monday, December 9, 2013

NEWLY appointed Bureau of Customs (BOC) officer-in-charge John Phillip "Sunny" Sevilla on Monday vowed to implement imminent reforms, as he challenged all the agency's personnel to improve the bureau's "bad image."

Sevilla said during his inaugural speech that Customs reform would not succeed based on a big picture, nor in an imposed overall program but it will succeed on details, on lots of small things on execution.

"I think di kaila sa atin, madaming pagkukulang ang sistema. To expect in two months, six months or one year you said yourself you are setting yourself up for failure. Reform is a series of unglamorous of operational things," Sevilla said.

He lauded the reforms started by his predecessor former Commissioner Ruffy Biazon who served as BOC head from September 2011 to December 6, 2013. Biazon tendered his irrevocable resignation last December 2 after the filing of a complaint in connection with the pork barrel scam.

"May overall reform program na na-start ni Commissioner Ruffy. Di naman bago itong mga ideas na ito, di na magkakaroon ng debate sa uri ng pagbabago. Nasa detalye at implementation stage na tayo… ang papel ko ay to implement the time that I am here," Sevilla said.

He also noted that part of his program for the bureau is improving the accreditations standard for importers, like maximizing the use of technology and minimizing human intervention as well upgrading the quality and timeliness of information on the movement of vessels and goods.

"Hindi na uubra ang dating palakad. Kailangan natin ng pagbabago. Hindi na tayo pwedeng magbingi-bingihan sag alit n gating mga kababayan. Ang bawat isa sa atin, kailangan magbago," he added.

Sevilla said that he doesn't want to make predictions on changes that will be implemented in the first 30 days in the office since the agency has a collection target to reach before the year ends.

"We still have a collection target. Our collection target comes to P1.4-billion per day. Last week, I was given figures for December 1 and 2 and we are very far below where we should be…. time is money so we have to do the best that we can on those targets," Sevila said.

Sevilla said President Benigno Aquino III wants him to lead the bureau for two months, after the surprise resignation of Biazon.

"He told me, I want you to be OIC for two months," he said.

He noted that after two months, he would want to go back to his former job as undersecretary of the Department of Finance (DOF).

"I am happy with my job at the DOF, I love what I am doing, that is my passion. My plan after two months is to go back to my former job, if they would still accept me," added Sevilla, who was the former Undersecretary for Corporate Affairs Group and Privatization of the Finance Department before his appointment to the BOC. (With FP/Sunnex)

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