Press Release
September 25, 2017

Sen. Bam calls for absolute transparency to end corruption in Customs

Senator Bam Aquino called on the leadership of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to implement absolute transparency in all its dealings to eradicate corruption in the bureau and hold Customs personnel liable for smuggling and drug trafficking.

The senator made this call to BoC commissioner Isidro Lapena during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the P6.4 billion shabu that made its way into the country through the Port of Manila.

"Hindi sana nakapasok ang tone-toneladang droga kung walang korupsyon sa Customs," said Sen. Bam.

Among the moves suggested by Sen. Bam is the use of x-rays in all the ports in the country and allowing the video feed to be broaddcast live online. By making the inspection process transparent and open to the public and available online anytime, Sen. Bam hopes to stamp out corruption.

"Iyong pinakamagandang kalaban ng dilim, ilaw. Kaya ilawan natin and make the process transparent. Tingnan natin kung magkakaroon ng undervaluation kung gagawin nating transparent ang proseso," said Sen. Bam.

"The private sector, maaari rin silang magbuo ng watchdog groups upang mabawasan ang pagpasok ng smuggled items sa bansa," the lawmaker added.

By allowing different groups to witness the inspection process, Sen. Bam said the space for corruption will be reduced and the revenue would go directly to the government and not to the pockets of unscrupulous individuals preying on brokers and other stakeholders.

Sen. Bam lamented that the current reforms undertaken by Lapena, such as moving two collectors to different positions, are not enough, saying the system should undergo a major change to totally erase corruption in the bureau.

"Hindi na sapat ang paglilipat ng tao. If it means changing systems, which I think is the only solution to the problem, gawin natin," said Sen. Bam, assuring Lapena that the Senate will support his initiatives to reform the bureau.

Sen. Bam also urged Lapena to hold liable Customs personnel behind the smuggling and trafficking of illegal drugs. "Hindi papasok ang droga kung walang corruption sa BoC," Sen. Bam stressed.

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