Isidro Lapena is now the new BOC chief
The newly-installed Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapena promised to follow the marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop corruption in BOC. He also vowed to increase their revenue legally.
“The marching order given to me by the President is to address the perennial problems that have beset the BOC for years. My top priority – and it should be clear to everyone – is to do away with the culture of “pasalubong” and “tara”. Strickly “No gift and no take policy,” Lapena said in his speech during the turnover ceremony on Wednesday morning.
Lapena warned those persons who would use his name in plotting heinous tactics to benefit oneself. He also said that he will institute more reforms to develop the custom’s organization and system to be more efficient in collecting revenues. He also vowed that inbound and outbound cargoes will be monitored closely to prevent smuggling.
“Similar to what I did with PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), I will implement a ‘one-strike policy’ to boost internal cleansing, which of course, shall be supported by intensified counter-intelligence efforts. I intend to give each of you a clean slate, so we can move forward. Just do your work. Prove your worth, I will back you up. But once I receive reports of your involvement with corrupt practices and such reports are validated: I will not think twice. Pasensyahan tayo,” Lapena said.
Lapena Appeal to stakeholders
“I am also appealing to all stakeholders, especially the importers, to support and cooperate with us by adhering only to legitimate procedures. Part of our job is trade facilitation. Do not give us reasons to hold your shipment and I assure you that under my term as Customs Commissioner, we will collect what is legally proper and correct dues. No more “tara”. Do not be duped into becoming instruments that contribute to breeding corruption in the bureau,” he added.
“To my BOC family, I seek your support and cooperation. Help me do my job. I cannot do it alone and need everyone to be on board with me. I still believe that many good men and women remain here in the bureau. Do not let the unscrupulous few continue to destroy the name of the BOC. If you are not with me, step aside because I am looking to steamroll major changes across the bureau,” he said asking for support and cooperation of the BOC employees.
The outgoing Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon also attended the ceremony and officially turned over the bureau’s leadership to Commisioner Isidro Lapena. He asked his former BOC family to give their support and cooperation to the new Custom Commissioner.
“I appeal to you, BOC officials to support every reform the new commissioner will be implementing in the bureau. He will be better than me,” said Faeldon during his turnover speech.
“Please sana mapagkatiwalaan nyo si Commissioner and come forward and name the corrupt employees in Customs. Let us work together and fix this bureau,” he added pertaining to the importers and the public.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Lapena, then Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director as BOC Commissioner. It was after the President has accepted the resignation of Faeldon due to the P6.4 billion illegal drug shipment that has slipped through the BOC.