THE new chief of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) 7 has assured business leaders and owners that his office will extend its help to release their cargos.

“We will not be a problem to you,” Ronnie Silvestre, the new Cebu Customs Collector, said before members of the Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CFCCC) Thursday night.

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“I hope you will import more this year. We have to increase our importation and we need to work double time in our collection performance,” he said.

He said BOC 7 aims to collect P7.67 billion in duties this year, or P2 billion more than it did last year. The 2009 tax collection target was only P5.663 billion, he said.

Silvestre assured CFCCC members that under his administration, they will have no problem in the release of their cargoes as long as their papers are in order.

In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Silvestre said that one challenge the bureau is facing for 2010 is streamlining importation procedures. For a start, the number of signatories has been cut.

Filomeno Lim, CFCCC president, said he appreciated Silvestre’s concern to improve the importation process.

“I thank him for his concern to improve the system and make it easier in doing business with Customs,” Lim said.

In response, Silvestre said it is important for government and the business sector to work together and help the bureau meet its collection target.