Retired former Customs Chief Titus Villanueva has two proposal that he claims will finally eliminate graft and corruption at the Bureau of Customs and at the same time decongest the ports.
Villanueva said for 10 years the Bureau of Customs was literally free of graft and corruption when the Bureau installed the comprehensive pre-shipment inspection scheme.
He said that during his time the Bureau hired the services of the Societe Generale de Surveillance to conduct the pre-shipment inspection of all exports to the Philippines from the port of origin.
This was from 1991 to 2000.
However, the services of SGS did not last long because it was deemed too expensive as it covered all imports from all countries and ports of origin.
As a result the SGS services was terminated. Customs then adopted the system of accrediting big and legitimate importers.
Shipments of accredited importers would no longer be examined nor evaluated by Customs. But delay in the release of their shipments continued despite this measure.
``After SGS, graft and corruption due to red tape, delaying tactics and other shenanigans was back,’’ Villanueva who worked at the BOC for 41 years said.
``I know that President Rodrigo Duterte, upon assuming office, announced his plan to remove graft and corruption and even installed military generals at the Bureau,’’ Villanueva said.
`` I am suggesting that shipments of big and legitimate importers should no longer pass through customs for examination and evaluation. Only the filing of import entry for payment of duties and taxes should bass through BOC. Their shipments should be delivered directly to the importers direct from the port without passing Customs. This is being done in Singapore.’’