Lapeña shortens processing time of documents at BOC to 5 days

By Inquirer.net |October 25,2017 - 09:58 PM

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) should only take five days to act on letters, requests and permits, the new memorandum of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has ordered.

In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to shorten processing time of documents, Lapeña signed on Monday Memorandum Order No. 24-2017 setting a five-day mandatory timeframe to respond to all clients, be it external or internal, upon receipt of documents.

Lapeña said the delays have made importers to resort to bribery because “they are looking for people who can facilitate their shipments and documents.”

“When there’s delay, there is grease money,” the Customs chief said in an earlier speech.

Once shipments were “facilitated,” Lapeña said most of the times the importers resort to benchmarking, one of the reasons why the bureau cannot hit its target set by the Department of Finance.

The commissioner has also ordered the Account Management Office (AMO) to streamline the procedures in the accreditation of importers, exports and brokers.

Lapeña criticized the AMO for the delays, stressing that it takes a month or two before the documents are released.

The customs chief assured that applicants may proceed to his office if their permits were not yet released by AMO within the five-day timeframe.

“The Bureau of Customs is now two steps in eradicating the century-practice of graft and corruption in the agency,” he said.

“As public servants, we have to deliver what we are supposed to perform,” he added.

Lapeña said the memorandum was also pursuant to Republic Act 6713 known as Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards from Public Officials and Employees, Republic Act 9845 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, and SONA Directive No. 2017-0010 of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, in October 23.

Last October 9, Lapeña sacked eight district collectors and 30 section chiefs of the BOC in an attempt to cleanse the bureau’s ranks.

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