Ombudsman probes 119 BOC employees for various anomalies

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2019   •   976

The Office of the Ombudsman is currently investigating 119 Bureau of Customs (BOC) employees due to various anomalies.

These employees are currently in floating status, according to BOC Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero.

“Ang instruction kasi ni President (The instruction of the president) is for them not to hold any position or office. So in the meantime, we have to account for them and the only way to account for them is to make sure we implement organizational mechanism that would make sure that they report daily for us to be able to know where they are in case they will be summoned for investigation,” he said.

Twenty-seven BOC employees were given a show cause order for their alleged involvement in corruption while the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of seven BOC executives.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires approved the dismissal of deputy collector for operations of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) Ramon Hernandez; Customs Operations Officer Lomonto Macabando; Customs Officers III Vanzandt Remonde and Vicente Gamboa; Customs Special Police assistant chief Jaybee Raul Cometa; BOC-Zamboanga Special Agent Oscar Farin and Customs security guard Renly Tiñana.

The administrative offenses committed by the officials include grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

One employee, meanwhile, was suspended due to gross insubordination.

Guerrero also admits the ‘Tara System’ in BOC still exists. He also said he still receives offers from various individuals.

“Ilang beses ko pa ba sasabihin na ako hindi ako tumatanggap, hindi ako tatanggap at never akong tumanggap (How many times do I have to tell you, I do not accept [bribes], have not accepted [bribes], and will never accept [bribes]),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

P70M worth of illegal goods seized in Parañaque City warehouse

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2021

PARAÑAQUE CITY, Philippines— Around P70 million worth of illegal goods were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Tambo, Parañaque City on Monday (January 18).

A team consisting of members of the Port’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) implemented the Letter of Authority (LOA) and inspected the subject warehouse.

The inspection resulted in the discovery of various smuggled Chinese cigarettes, Chinese medicines, prohibited surgical mask, foodstuff, footwear, garments, and other imported goods.

Further investigation and inventory are ongoing for further case build up and filing of charges.

BSP assures execs facing graft raps before Ombudsman will answer in proper forum

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday assured that its officials who are facing graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman will respond in an appropriate forum.

The complaint, filed by Ricardo Fulgencio IV of Stop Corruption Organization of the Philippines, accused BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno and officials of central bank’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of granting P1.75-billion contract to Allcard International sans public bidding for the implementation of the national identification system.

Aside from Diokno, Prudence Angelita Kasala, Rogel Joseph del Rosario, Carl Cesar Bibat, Marianne Santos, Salvador del Mundo, and Giovanni Israel Joson were also named as respondents to the complaint.

“As regards the complaint filed with the Ombudsman relative to the procurement for the printing of cards for the National ID System, rest assured that the BSP officials concerned will respond in the proper forum once required in accordance with applicable rules,” the BSP said in a statement.

Fulgencio said the bidding process for equipment and materials for the Philippine Identification cards was flawed because the BAC of the BSP Security Plant Complex, which is in charge of procuring materials for the cards, required all bidders to procure raw materials, such as diffractive optically variable image device (DOVID) and polycarbonate sheets, from OVD Kinegram.

The complainant said this requirement is prohibited by procurement laws as it shows a specific reference to a brand name.

“[The] respondents’ act of requiring the bidders to procure their raw materials from OVD Kinegram AG effectively gave the latter private party, unwarranted benefits. The respondents’ preference to Kinegram deprived other DOVID suppliers of the opportunity to bid for the project and robbed the government of getting the most advantageous terms for the supply of such raw materials,” the complaint read.

“Clearly, this is a corrupt practice. Henceforth, it is respectfully prayed before this Honorable Office that after the requisite preliminary investigation, criminal information against the herein respondents be filed before the Sandiganbayan,” it added.

Despite the complaint, the BSP said that it supports the rollout of the National ID as it is key to wider financial inclusion that promotes shared economic growth and the financial wellbeing of Filipinos.

BOC vows immediate release of COVID-19 vaccines once supply arrives in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday assured it will immediately facilitate the release of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) once they arrive in the country.

The BOC said it has started inspecting warehouses in various international airports, and coordinated with concerned government agencies in preparation for the arrival of the vaccine supply in the country.

The government’s task force on COVID-19 response earlier said that the first batch of vaccines approved for use in the Philippines may be delivered starting next month.

BOC spokesperson Atty. Vincent Maronilla said they met with concerned agencies to discuss the protocols, permits and facilities needed for the arrival and processing of the approved vaccines.

Maronilla added that they have also conducted a study on how to expedite the process of issuing clearances and identified possible bottlenecks in the system to ensure that the vaccines’ release will not be delayed.

“Our time release study that we actually conducted in preparation for this particular importation, tumingin na kami ng proseso namin, nag-streamline na kami ng proseso naming, inidentify na namin yung mga bottlenecks na pupwede,” he said.

“When we say bottlenecks, marami rin kasi magpaparating ng ibang items hindi lang yan di ba? That it will be mere hours when this arrives at our airports and its release through the Bureau of Customs,” he added.

Maronilla said the bureau will also draft a reporting system that will allow the public to keep track the delivery of the vaccines.

“Part of the measures that we are going to undertake is also a regular report to the public… A public report for us to be transparent on how many vaccines have we processed, how many have we released similar to that which we adopted during the height of the pandemic para sa PPEs,” he said.

“Para aware ang taumbayan kung ilan talaga yung pumasok, may na-delay ba at hindi na-delay pra maiwasan natin ng misinformation, kumalat ang fake news,” he added.

The BOC said it will also put up a One-Stop-Shop for vaccines at the airports that will accommodate and assist incoming importations to fast-track the clearance process. RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.