Customs personnel tagged in corruption to face admin raps before Ombudsman – Palace
Robie de Guzman • July 19, 2019 • 2699
MANILA, Philippines – Officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) tagged in corruption allegations will face administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman, Malacañang said on Friday.
“Administrative charges over allegations of corrupt practices in office will be filed against them before the Office of the Ombudsman, unless they opt to resign, and the prosecutors will ask for their immediate suspension,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
On Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte met with dozens of customs personnel in Malacañang.
Panelo said Duterte told them they will be given their day in court as part of the due process.
“The President has been forthright in telling these customs officials and employees that corruption has no place under his watch,” Panelo said.
“PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] assured them that he would not begrudge them if they would avail of legal remedies to question their removal from office,” he added.
The president, Panelo said, “thanked them for accepting his invitation to meet him in Malacañang, which according to him, showed they still have respect for him.”
While waiting for the formal filing of charges, the said customs officials will be “in floating status without authority to act on official matters.”
The chief executive earlier ordered for the freezing of several high-ranking customs officials who were accused of corrupt practices in office.
“Let this serve as a reminder to all those officials or employees in the government that they cannot escape liability or accountability for their acts of corruption under the Duterte administration,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The country is not yet ready to fully reopen its economy, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Chief Executive said the government is doing the process gradually, otherwise the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections would spike that could lead to a bigger problem.
He said he cannot follow the example of other countries because the Philippines does not have as much resources if the situation gets worse.
“Tayong pobre we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. Mahirap tayo. Hindi tayo puwedeng sumugal (As a poor country, we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. We are poor. We cannot afford to gamble),” the President said during his public address on Tuesday evening (July 7).
President Duterte cited situations in the United States and Brazil where despite being powerful and wealthy, are not spared from the impact of the pandemic.
“Although they opened their economy for money to come into the government coffers, there was a spike. They were having a problem of almost a relapse — in the totality of the number,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President expressed doubts that the country has entered the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
“Now we do not even know if the number of 34, 178 of active cases is still a part of the first wave or have we arrived at the second wave. I don’t think so. We are still grappling with the first wave,” he argued.
He urged Filipinos to obey strict health protocols and have more patience as the government works to combat the pandemic.
“Mga kababayan ko, ako mismo gusto ko nang lumabas. Ayoko nang magpapigil. Kung gusto ko nga makipag-away na ako. Ang problema iyon ang gusto ko, pero ang gusto ko ay hindi makakabuti sa ating lahat,” he said.
(My fellow countrymen, I personally I want to go out. I don’t want to be barred from doing so. I am even ready to fight over this. The problem is, what I want is not good for everyone.)
“We have to be very circumspect in reopening the economy. Dahan-dahan lang (Let’s do it gradually), because if you open the entire Philippines and thousands upon thousands of new cases would happen, then we are in deep s***. Talagang mahirapan tayo (We will seriously struggle),” he said. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) warns the public against the so-called ‘unclaimed package’ scam.
The Bureau has been receiving reports of scam incidents involving unscrupulous individuals luring victims with a supposed unclaimed package at Customs using various means of communication such as online, e-mail, SMS and even phone calls.
Scammers allegedly use dummies or fake accounts. At times they would even use the Bureau’s name or pose as employees to deceive victims into paying duties and taxes through money remittance or personal bank accounts for the release of a certain package.
They even send bogus receipts, tracking numbers of packages and other documents to the victims to make the transaction seem legitimate.
Some scammers also use sophisticated methods such as the use of fake courier tracking websites that victims would be asked to visit to see the status of the supposed parcel.
The BOC reiterates that it solely assesses duties and taxes on parcels and these can be paid on a cash basis through the courier or freight forwarder upon delivery at the client’s doorstep or upon pick up of the parcel at the nearest local branch.
Furthermore, said duties and taxes can only be collected through BOC-accredited agent banks and not through personal bank accounts or other money transfer services.
Meanwhile, alleged tracking websites can be verified with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its website to see if the said courier is a DTI-accredited deconsolidator.
The public is advised to be careful in dealing with suspicious notifications and individuals asking for money.
How to spot a scammer?
Scammer fails to provide the address of their office
Scammer insists on paying through online banks and money remittance
What to do?
Immediately inform the Customs helpdesk or the BOC-CARES through email at email@example.com or send a message tot he BOC’s Facebook page – Bureau of Customs PH
Report online scams to the cybercrime offices of the Philippine National Police or National Bureau of Investigation.
MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte government’s economic development and infrastructure Cabinet clusters are set to present the administration’s plans for recovery and resilience in the face of the coronavirus-induced headwinds this year at the first pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum to be held this week.
The Department of Finance (DOF) said that the forum titled, “Regaining Momentum, Accelerating Recovery in a Post COVID-19 World,” will be held virtually on July 8.
Hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and Office of the Cabinet Secretary, the forum will be streamed live on the Facebook pages of the Radio Television Malacañang, and other government agencies.
Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II said this year’s pre-SONA forum will be different as the audience will be “purely virtual,” due to limitations on mass gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do hope that our citizens will be able to tune in as the country’s top decision makers discuss our path to a quick and strong recovery from this crisis,” he said.
In the forum, the DOF said that top economic and infrastructure officials are also expected to report on the state of the Philippine economy, as well as the government’s ongoing efforts to leverage on its strong fundamentals in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar will present performance updates and priority plans, respectively, on the economic and infrastructure fronts.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua will speak on the Philippine Economic Recovery Program.
“The audience can expect Secretary Dominguez to delve deeper into the challenges we’re facing right now, the accomplishments in the previous year that we can build on, and the legislative proposals that the economic team submitted for Congress to consider,” Lambino said.
Meanwhile, updates on the monetary, external, and financial sectors will be discussed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno.
Pre-SONA forums are held annually to discuss in greater detail the achievements of the government in the previous year and the priorities of the Cabinet cluster heads in the run-up to the President’s SONA on July 27.
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