MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Finance (DOF)’s order for all Customs officials and personnel to return to their mother unit might paralyze the operations and revenue collection performance of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Commissioner Rufino Biazon said yesterday.
Biazon said that if the order would be followed, some of their offices would be left unmanned.
The BOC is under the DOF.
“The initial feedback from the field units is that a big percentage (of the personnel) would be affected. In one port, 70 percent of their personnel would be affected. But there are certain units that have no plantilla positions, so 100 percent of their personnel would be affected,” Biazon said.
He said that the BOC was given until Sept. 27 to comply with the directive.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) election ban that prevents the movement of government personnel would take effect the following day, Sept. 28.
One of the units that would be heavily affected is the X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) because it does not have its own plantilla.
Other units with no plantilla are the Risk Management Office (RMO) and the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT).
Personnel from other BOC units were taken from the Enforcement Group (EG).
“So if all the XIP personnel would return to the EG, we would be left with no one on XIP. The solution is to assign somebody else to the unit,” Biazon said.
He, however, said that by assigning other people outside the XIP to man the x-ray machines nationwide, the BOC would risk violating the “return to mother unit” order of the DOF.
Biazon said if vacant posts would not be filled, the smuggling problem may become worse.
He added that if operations are disrupted, revenue collection will also be affected.
“This is part of the preparation for a bigger reform plan in the bureau. This is an order issued last Thursday that would have an effect on the entire bureau. But since this is initiated by the leadership, we have to implement this. Of course, we would continuously monitor the implementation to make sure that there would be no drastic effects on operations,” he said.
Last Aug. 14, Biazon submitted his recommendations to reshuffle 17 district collectors, but his proposal has been set aside. “The return to mother unit of all personnel would supersede earlier recommendations,” he said.