'Customs computerization lessens corruption'

By Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2011 03:41 AM | Updated as of Apr 15 2011 12:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The 13 ambassadors of the member countries of the European Union said that they were encouraged by the impact of the Bureau of Customs's (BoC) computerization program on lessening corruption.

During their visits at the North Harbor, the ambassadors from the EU said the computerization of the BoC operations are encouraging since it makes transactions easier, faster and more efficient.

They checked the facilities of the BOC and the International Container and Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) that have benefitted from the EU's P435 million grant under a technical assistance program from 2008 to 2012.

According to BoC Deputy Commissioner Horacio Suansing, the computerization of their transactions has lessened the interaction between clients and BoC officials and has resulted in lesser opportunities for corruption.

The changes, according to Suansing, has improved the image of the BoC resulting in the lower rank they received in the Pulse Asia suryey on the "most corrupt government agencies" from last year's rank 5 to rank 7.