Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Tuesday (July 11) maintains that he will stay in office as long as President Rodrigo Duterte says so despite ouster plot from several Bureau of Customs (BOC) employees who, he claims, are opposing his policies in the agency.
“Nararamdaman ko iyon. In fact, may information nga ako na meron silang P20M na sinking fund daw to discredit me…I serve under the pleasure of the President, Kuya Daniel. Hangga’t andiyan iyong tiwala ng ating Presidente sa atin, gagawin natin lahat ng ating makakaya para mapagsilbihan ang mamamayang Pilipino,” Lapeña said during Tuesday’s episode of the program “Get It Straight with Daniel Razon.”
During the program, Lapeña also confessed that he was offered with “pasalubong” on his first day taking over as Customs Commissioner. That experience, he said, prompted him to impose the “No Pasalubong, No Tara System” policy within the agency.
In line with the administration’s anti-corruption campaign, the Customs Chief imposed the one-strike policy among Customs personnel, warning them against any involvement in corrupt practices such as smuggling.
Lapeña estimates around 850 customs personnel were already dismissed or transferred to different office under his administration due to illegal acts citing his authority as the Commissioner.
Commissioner Lapeña believes that the reshuffle of personnel hugely contributed to achieving the agency’s monthly target revenue collection.
“The one strike policy, kapag hindi na- hit ang target ng collector, I change him or her at kasama diyan iyong kaniyang staff in the assessment. So iyong kaniyang deputy collector, iyong mga tao niya sa assessment. Pinapalitan ko lahat iyan and it’s working,” he explained.
The record shows that the BOC’s revenue collection in July 2018 surpassed the agency’s monthly target. BOC reached a total collection of P50.139B this second week of July which is P2B pesos higher than the P47.80B pesos revenue in June.
This means that the agency’s campaign against corruption is effectively working.
“For the last 4 months nag- shoot up iyong revenue collection. It is an all-time high in the history of Bureau of Customs,” the Commissioner said. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo