New Customs chief Lapeña: 'Strictly, no gift and no take policy'


Posted at Aug 30 2017 10:43 AM | Updated as of Aug 30 2017 12:22 PM

MANILA - The new Customs chief took office on Wednesday, with a warning that he would not tolerate corruption in the agency.

Commissioner Isidro Lapeña took over from Nicanor Faeldon, who came under fire over his handling of a P6.4-billion shipment of illegal drugs shipment from China.

Lapeña, a former police general, said he would implement a "one-strike" policy, wherein officials found engaged in corruption would be removed from their posts on the first proven offense.

"My top priority should be clear to everyone: It is to do away with the 'pasalubong' and 'tara'. Strictly no gift and no take policy," he said.

"Just do your work, prove your worth and I will back you up. But once I receive reports of your corrupt practices, and such reports are validated, I will not think twice, pasensyahan tayo," he said.

Lapeña said he was issuing a "stern warning" against those who would use his name to do wrong, adding, "Don't do that under my term. I will get you."

Those who do their jobs well will be rewarded, he said.

Lapeña said he would pursue the computerization of Customs procedures and set up a 24-hour feedback mechanism.