Pre-shipment inspection to clean up Customs

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Pre-shipment inspection, valuation, and appraisal of all imports before they are sent to the Philippines, would be one effective way to clean up Customs operations, according to Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy.

The House Assistant Majority Leader and member of the Ways and Means Committee, lamented that the pre-shipment solution was “rejected by the Customs bureau, importers, and smugglers” when Congress was deliberating on what is now the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

“When those three sectors agree to reject something that makes perfect sense as a solution, that already says a lot,” the congresswoman said. “There are different world-class customs inspection service providers out there and we just have to find the right match for the Philippines.”

The Philippines had hired the Societe Generale de Surveillance SA before but that relationship turned sour when they got entangled in a legal battle.

“I understand President Rodrigo Duterte’s predicament with Customs. He needed the fastest quick fix he could find and for that he turned to the military as a temporary solution,” Herrera-Dy said.

She added that “beyond the short-term of a few months, I recommend turning over day-to-day management of Customs to whichever firm or consortium gets the customs inspection management contract.”

As regards the Customs personnel, she said, “I suggest that President Duterte task the Development Academy of the Philippines or some other state firms to create a subsidiary, a Customs Manpower Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation, to which all the regular employees, career executives, and other non-political and non-co-terminus appointees to the Bureau of Customs shall be transferred lock, stock, and barrel.”

The congresswoman said the DAP “has long been a public administration development and training institution and would therefore be suited to the mission of separating the good and rotten eggs at Customs.”

p: wjg

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