Another Milestone for Bureau of Customs
The Bureau of Customs is headed by the Customs Commissioner, currently Rey Leonardo Guerrero, who is responsible for the general administration and management of the bureau. The Commissioner is assisted by six Deputy Commissioners and an Assistant Commissioner, who supervises the Internal Administration Group, Revenue Collection Monitoring Group, Assessment and Operations Coordination Group, Intelligence Group, Enforcement Group, Management Information System and Technology Group and Post Clearance Audit Group. Guerrero succeeded the position of Former Customs Commissioner and now, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General, Isidro Lapena, last October 31, 2018. Before he became BOC Commissioner, Guerrero was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) after his retirement from the Armed Forces of the Philippines as chief. He served in the military for 34 years and was the commanding general of the Eastern Mindanao Command. The Bureau of Customs often work in conjunction with other departments and other countries’ own customs department in order to ensure that laws and regulations are implemented properly. Just recently, the BOC and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or PDEA signed a memorandum of agreement at the PDEA office activity area in Quezon City in order to renew their partnership in preventing the smuggling of illegal drugs.
The BOC also works in partnership with the appropriate departments to prevent banned goods from entering the country-particularly those that have a risk of being contaminated with virus or disease from areas experiencing an outbreak of said virus or disease. Most recently, the BOC reinforced a DA order regarding the ban of pork from specific countries where an outbreak of African Swine Fever had been monitored. Along with the National Veterinary Quarantine Service or NVQS, Customs tightened its regulations when it came to quarantine policies over swine products. As a part of its duties, the BOC prevents the smuggling of fake or counterfeit products from entering the country, confiscating them in raids approved by the Commissioner himself. Under the Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, fake goods are prohibited. Last Thursday as well, 3 raids were successfully performed in various warehouse units in Binondo, Parañaque. These raids yielded P700 million worth of bogus apparel that was seized and confiscated by the BOC. The bureau also issued another letter of authority against two warehouses located at Meliton Espiritu Street, Steelhauz Compound, Sucat, Parañaque City.