Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said he will hire several agents from the Philippine Drug and Enforcement Agency to boost the intelligence gathering of the bureau against smuggling, particularly illegal drugs into the country’s premier and sub-seaports.
He said the bureau needs at least 2,000 new BoC personnel to fill up the more than 2,000 plantilla positions at the bureau to beef up the workforce and improve productivity.
The new Customs chief said hiring agents from the PDEA is part of his reform program for the agency, where 70 percent of illegal drugs that enter the country pass through various seaports.
He said the supply of drugs remains unabated, and this was likely because the illegal contraband were delivered by suppliers via the the high seas, later passing the seaports.
Lapeña added that two customs district collectors will be replaced for alleged underperformance and failing miserably to improve the collection of the BoC.
However, the customs chief declined to name the two BOC officials, but added that he will announce their names next week.