Sevilla quits as Customs chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2015 10:56 AM | Updated as of Apr 23 2015 08:05 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) – Customs commissioner John Philip Sevilla has resigned.

In a press conference on Thursday, Sevilla cited the intense politics in the bureau as his reason for quitting. He said he has already submitted his resignation letter to President Benigno Aquino III.

Sevilla admitted there are many things that still need fixing in the bureau. He said the next Customs chief will need all the support from the stakeholders.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima thanked Sevilla for his service and said he respect's the latter's decision to resign.

"I thank Commissioner Sunny Sevilla for his dedicated service and relentless pursuit of good governance in the Bureau of Customs. The numbers do not lie: as head of the Customs Reform Team, he has helped grow the Bureau's collections by 21% year on year in 2014 versus 5% in the pre-reform period," Purisima said.

Purisima added that Sevilla "transformed Customs to be one of the most radically open and transparent agencies in government, has made government regulation more efficient for doing business in the country, and has taken great strides to thwart graft, technical and outright smuggling by filing cases, alert orders and seizures against erring importers, brokers, and officials."

"The Bureau of Customs is the most improved national government agency in terms of revenue collection last year, thanks in no small part to the person who lead it."

Sevilla was officially appointed as Customs chief in December 2013, after serving as OIC in the wake of the departure of Ruffy Biazon.

Sevilla was previously Department of Finance Undersecretary for the Corporate Affairs Group and Privatization.

He has held the position since 2010 in the current administration, and also served as Undersecretary for Privatization from 2006 to 2007.

Sevilla had also worked as an executive director at investment bank Goldman Sachs, and had also covered the Philippines as an associate director and sovereign rater for credit rating agency Standard and Poors'.

Sevilla also served as Chief Operating Officer of Synergeia foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education in the Philippines.

He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics and Government and he holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University. - Report from Robert Mano, DZMM