'Gov't should conduct covert lifestyle check, prosecute erring BOC personnel' says Trillanes - The Daily Sentry

Saturday, November 3, 2018

'Gov't should conduct covert lifestyle check, prosecute erring BOC personnel' says Trillanes

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV / photo file from UNTV

Manila, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is pushing for mandatory lifestyle check for employees as well as the revival of private pre-shipment inspection, this is to help getting rid of corruption inside the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Along with colleagues, Trillanes joined in expressing doubts on the effectiveness of President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to put Customs under military control.

Learn from mistakes

Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson said that the best way to improve the corruption-laden BOC is to learn from past mistakes and best practices while putting a much effective counter-intelligence system.

“The rest is history we don’t even want to remember, but Malacañang should learn from it,” Lacson said.

Lifestyle check and salary increase

Trillanes said that aside from covert lifestyle check, erring personnel of BOC should also be held liable while those who are performing should get an increase.

“The government should conduct covert lifestyle checks and prosecute or dismiss erring BOC personnel,” Trillanes said.

“Operations of the BOC should be fully computerized, to include mandatory electronic filing with automatic electronic copies furnished to Commission on Audit (COA), the Office of the Ombudsman and counter-intelligence units, "he said.

Trillanes also pointed out that that the administration should also revive the “private pre-shipment inspection services while reducing customs duties – except for protected goods – to discourage smuggling”

The opposition senator and known critic of the president suggested that BOC should utilize multiple remote x-ray monitors manned by COA and counter-intelligence units – as this will prevent conspiracy among personnel and officials, and to give countercheck findings to Customs’ x-ray operators.

Senate probe on smuggling led by Senate Blue Ribbon chair Richard Gordon is scheduled to resume on November 22.*

Mandatory inspection at port of origin

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza also suggests compulsory pre-shipment inspection of all containers to prevent smuggling of shabu and goods through the ports of Manila and also other cities.

“The President is in a position to administratively direct the mandatory inspection at the country of origin of all containerized cargoes destined for the Philippines,” Atienza said

He said that entry of narco goods could have been detected had it been checked at the origin ports.

“All of the estimated P21 billion worth of methamphetamine or shabu smuggled through the Manila port in three batches between May 2017 and July 2018 arrived in 20-foot shipping containers from China, Malaysia and Taiwan,” Atienza said

Last week, the president has ordered the “military takeover” of the BOC while its personnel are placed in “floating status” for the time being because of the smuggling controversy surrounding the bureau.

Buhay Party list Rep. and former Manila mayor Lito Atienza

Source: Philstar