BOC Gymnasium, Port Area, Manila
February 8, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the 115th founding anniversary of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) held at the BOC Gymnasium in Port Area, Manila.

In his keynote address, the President commended the agency for its increase of revenue collection in November 2016. The collection is said to have exceeded BOC’s target for the first time in nearly two years.

“The modest collection performance posted last November 2016 was an eye opener. It was the first time that government was fully able to exceed collection target since December 2014,” he said.

According to data released by the BOC, collection in November 2016 from import duties and other taxes amounted to PhP 40.239 billion, which is 12% higher than its PhP 36.45 billion target.

As of January 2017, the agency posted that its total revenue collection hit a 101% record mark with PhP 35.745 billion, surpassing its PhP 35.509 billion goal by PhP 236 million for the period.

“Truly as long as we put our minds to our tasks and remain committed to serve the Filipino people, we can achieve our goals,” President Duterte said.

He also encouraged the agency to further improve its services by simplifying procedures and centralizing operations, particularly in trade facilitation and border control, and to beef up its customs enforcement operations.

“As the BOC is at the frontline of our campaign against smuggling and illegal drugs… You have my full support in developing the BOC’s law enforcement capabilities, so you can conduct these operations more effectively and efficiently,” he said.

Among the efforts mentioned by the President to monitor customs operations and to deter illegal activities included the installation of CCTV cameras in strategic locations around the port area in Manila and the BOC building. The footages caught in these cameras are streamed live online, for real time transparency of customs operations.

“Through the combined efforts of its leadership, its employees, the private sector and the Filipino people, I am hopeful that the Bureau of Customs will no longer be tagged as among the most corrupt agencies in the coming years… This is the only way to revitalize the Bureau of Customs and therefore the people’s trust in government,” President Duterte ended.

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