MANILA, SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Michael Lim Ubac - The revamp at the graft-ridden Bureau of Customs (BOC) is finally on.

President Benigno Aquino III appointed former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Jessie Dellosa as deputy commissioner for the BOC Enforcement Group, replacing Horacio Suansing Jr.

“Suansing was replaced. All deputy commissioners were replaced,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a phone interview late on Saturday, correcting what was previously announced by deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in a radio interview before noon on Saturday.

Valte had said Dellosa had replaced deputy commissioner for Intelligence Group Danilo Lim.

Lacierda explained Dellosa will wear two hats in the meantime as deputy commissioner for enforcement and officer in charge (OIC) of intelligence, adding:

“Lim’s resignation has been accepted. The President has said that already. In the meantime Dellosa is OIC for intelligence, as well.”

Other appointments

There was no word yet on any posting for Lim, a former Army brigadier general who had reportedly offered to quit his post at least six times because of supposed powerful officials of government interfering with the affairs of BOC.

Dellosa retired from military service in January.

According to Valte, Mr. Aquino also named Primo B. Aguas as deputy commissioner for Management Information Systems and Technology Group, replacing Maria Caridad T. Manarang, and Agaton Teodoro O. Uvero as deputy commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, replacing Prudencio M. Reyes.

“While these are not new appointments, there are two officials that will be detailed to deputy commissioner posts from their existing (postings) in government,” said Valte in a radio interview.

The President named the officials: Director Myrna Chua of the Department of Budget and Management as deputy commissioner for Internal Administration Group, and Finance Assistant Secretary Ma. Edita Tan as deputy commissioner for the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group.

The appointments were signed by the President on Thursday but made public only Saturday.

Previous reports said Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima had recommended these new appointees to the President.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said about the new deputy commissioners:

“I am willing to work with anyone and will welcome those who are appointed to the BOC. A fresh team could provide a fresh perspective and approach to the challenges of the bureau.”

In July, Lim publicly announced his resignation from his post a day after Mr. Aquino scolded the BOC in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The President had singled out the BOC for repeatedly falling short of its collection targets and failing to check smuggling and corruption.

Lim said he agreed with the President’s observation that the BOC had not performed in accordance with the expectations of the people.

“The apprehension of smugglers as well as the guaranteeing of correct collections are continuing activities that need as much attention as the job of instituting reforms—a virtual guarantee that the latter activity would take time, much more time than the public would be willing to give us. In view of this, I see no other recourse but to leave this office,” he said.

Quoting sources, the Inquirer reported on Friday that Purisima had forwarded a customs personnel order (CPO) for Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazonto sign assigning all Collectors 5 and 6 to the DOF cluster on revenue generation.
The cluster is headed by Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares. With a report from Tina Santos

‘3 Kings’ of customs dethroned in revamp

Biazon welcomes new faces at Customs By Jerry E. Esplanada Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:49 am | Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Tuesday welcomed “any new Malacañang appointees” to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), saying he was “ready to work with them anytime.”

This after reports said retired Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Jessie Dellosa and two others had been recommended for deputy commissioner posts at the BOC by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

The BOC is a Department of Finance-attached agency.

Purisima reportedly endorsed Dellosa to be customs deputy commissioner for intelligence and enforcement. The position merges the jobs of Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Horacio Suansing Jr. and resigned Deputy Commissioner Danny Lim.

Purisima also nominated Trinidad Rodriguez, executive director of the National Tax Research Center, and Myrna Chua, director at the Department of Budget and Management. They would replace Deputy Commissioners Peter Manzano and Juan Lorenzo Tañada, the latter having also resigned.

Two others, Primo Aguas and Agaton Teodoro Uvero, have been recommended by Purisima to take over the posts currently held by Ma. Caridad Manarang, head of the BOC management information system, and Prudencio Reyes, chief of the bureau’s assessment and operations coordinating group.

Biazon, meanwhile, has issued a CPO (Customs Personnel Order) directing BOC officials and employees to return to their mother units.

The CPO covers, among others, the agency’s 17 district collectors, including the so-called “three kings”—Ricardo Belmonte, Carlos So and Rogel Gatchalian.

Belmonte, head of the Manila International Container Port (MICP), will move back to the Port of Cebu. So, chief of the BOC office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, will return to the MICP. Gatchalian will remain as district collector at the Port of Manila, which happens to be his mother unit.

Earlier, Biazon announced that three district collectors would be retained at their posts. They were Tomas Alcid of the Port of Batangas, Fidel Villanueva of San Fernando, La Union, and Elvie Cruz of the Limay and Mariveles ports in Bataan.

The commissioner explained that Alcid was newly assigned to the Batangas port, while Villanueva and Cruz were handling port containerization and the merger of the two Bataan ports, respectively.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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