Customs: Salaries received

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Monday, July 21, 2014


THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) denied reports that the salaries of all the new collectors and officials hired under the Office of the Revenue Agency Modernization (Oram) were cut off after the Supreme Court declared parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

Charo Logarta Lagamon, chief of the BOC's Public Information and Assistance Division, said they are regularly receiving their salaries.

BOC Port of Cebu District Collector Roberto Almadin did not comment on the reports, telling Sun.Star Cebu that he is not really connected with BOC but with the Department of Transportation and Communication.

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Almadin is merely detailed at the Port of Cebu.

Oram was created by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III under Executive Order (EO) No. 139, and is funded by DAP.

It was created with the aim of cleaning up the bureau, although some observers said the real motive was to rid the agency of officials appointed by the previous administration.

When Oram was created, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima summarily relieved all the incumbent customs collectors nationwide, placed them in floating status and replaced them with retired generals from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Aquino created Oram to formulate and implement the necessary improvements in the processes, systems and procedures of the BOC and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in order to bring these at par with global practices and standards.

However, except for the Port of Cebu, which has consistently recorded positive monthly revenue collections, the entire BOC failed to meet its target.

Aquino directed Purisima to submit to the Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad a proposed budget to cover the personnel requirements, maintenance and other operating expense, capital outlays, if needed.

BOC and BIR are under the Department of Finance.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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