Bureau of Customs

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Bureau of Customs
Kawanihan ng Adwana
Bureau of Customs.svg
Emblem of the Bureau of Customs
Philippine Customs Flag.svg
Ensign of the Bureau of Customs
Common name Bureau of Customs
Abbreviation BoC, BOC
Agency overview
Formed February 5, 1902
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Philippines
Operations jurisdiction Philippines
Headquarters POM Building, Port Area,
Manila, Philippines

Agency executive
Parent agency Department of Finance
Website
www.customs.gov.ph

The Bureau of Customs (abbreviated BoC or BOC; Filipino: Kawanihan ng Adwana) is a Philippine government agency under the Department of Finance. It is responsible for regulating and facilitating trade, assessment and collecting import duties and taxes, combating illegal trade and other forms of customs fraud, and devising and managing customs management systems for trade facilitation.[1]

The Bureau of Customs was established on February 5, 1902 by the Insular Government, while the Philippines was a possession of the United States.[2]

History

Customs Building, Manila
Manila North Harbor

Historical records show that the customs service in the Philippines started many centuries back long before it was discovered by the eastern and western expeditionaries. The Philippines had already a flourishing trade with countries of Southeast Asia, but since money at that time was not yet the medium of exchange, people then resorted to the barter system of commodities. The rulers of the barangays were known as the datu or rajahs collected tributes from the people before they were allowed to engage in their trade. The practice of collecting tributes became part of their culture and was then observed and followed as the Customs Law of the Land.

The Spanish Regime

After Spain had taken full control of almost all the trades of the country, it passed three important statutes:

  • Spanish Customs Law which was similar to that of the Indies enforced in the country from 1582 to 1828. It was a concept of ad valorem levied on import and export.
  • A Tariff Board was established which drew up a tariff of fixed values for all imported articles on which ten percent (10%) ad valorem duty was uniformly collected.
  • Another Tariff Law was introduced in 1891, which established the specific duties on all imports and on certain exports and this lasted till the end of the Spanish rule in the Philippines.

The American Regime

When the Americans came to the Philippines, the Military Government continued to enforce the Spanish Tariff Code of 1891, which remained in effect until the Philippine Commission enacted the Tariff Revision Law of 1901.

On October 24, 1900, the Philippine Commission passed Act No. 33 abolishing and changing the position of Captain of the Port to Collector of Customs in all ports of entry except the Port of Manila. The designation of the Captain of the Port in the Port of Manila was retained.

When the Civil Government was established in the Philippines, the most important laws passed by the Philippine Commission were the following:

  • Tariff Revision Law of 1902 based on the theory that the laws of Spain were not as comprehensive as the American Customs Laws to conform with the existing conditions of the country.
  • Philippine Administrative Act No. 355 passed by the Philippine Commission on February 6, 1902. The full implementation of this Act, however, was considered inadequate and incomplete, so the Customs Service Act No. 355, called the Philippine Customs Service Act was passed to amend the previous laws. After several modifications and amendments, the Philippine Customs Service finally became a practical counterpart of the American Customs Service.
  • Act No. 357 reorganized the Philippine Customs Service and officially designated the Insular Collector of Customs as Collector of Customs for the Port of Manila.
  • Act No. 625 abolished the Captain of the Port for the Port of Manila.
  • Public Act No. 430 transformed the Philippine Customs Service to a Bureau of Customs and Immigration under the supervision and control of the Department of Finance and Justice.

When the Department of Justice became a separate office from the Department of Finance, the customs service remained under the umbrella of the latter which set-up remained up to this time.

The Commonwealth Government

After the Commonwealth Government was established in the country, the Philippine Legislature enacted Commonwealth Act No. 613 forming the Bureau of Immigration as a separate office from the Bureau of Customs.

On May 1, 1947, the Bureau of Customs has as its head the Insular Collector of Customs. He was assisted by the Deputy Insular Collector of Customs. Both officials were concurrently Collector of Customs and the Deputy Collector of Customs of the Port of Manila. The Republic Pursuant to the Executive Order No. 94 of Republic Act No. 52, the President of the Philippines reorganized the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the government of the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently, the Insular Collector of Customs was changed to Collector of Customs for the Port of Manila. The reorganization took effect on July 1, 1947.

In 1957, Congress enacted the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines known as Republic Act No. 1937, otherwise known as the “Tariff Law of the Republic of the Philippines”. This took effect on July 1, 1957. The passage of this act by the defunct Congress of the Philippines subject to the provisions of the Laurel-Langley Agreement, became the first official expression of an autonomous Philippine Tariff Policy.

Before the passage of Republic Act 1937, all importations from the United States enjoyed full exemptions pursuant to the Tariff Act No. 1902 which was adopted by Republic Act No. 3 as the Tariff Laws of the Philippines.

The Republic

Pursuant to the Executive Order No. 94 of Republic Act No. 52, the President of the Philippines reorganized the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the government of the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently, the Insular Collector of Customs was changed to Collector of Customs for the Port of Manila. The reorganization took effect on July 1, 1947.

In 1957, Congress enacted the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines known as Republic Act No. 1937, otherwise known as the “Tariff Law of the Republic of the Philippines”. This took effect on July 1, 1957. The passage of this act by the defunct Congress of the Philippines subject to the provisions of the Laurel-Langley Agreement, became the first official expression of an autonomous Philippine Tariff Policy.

Before the passage of Republic Act 1937, all importations from the United States enjoyed full exemptions pursuant to the Tariff Act No. 1902 which was adopted by Republic Act No. 3 as the Tariff Laws of the Philippines.

Organization

Office of the Commissioner (OCOM)

The Bureau of Customs is headed by a Commissioner, who is responsible for the general administration and management of the bureau. The Commissioner is assisted by six (6) Deputy Commissioners and an Assistant Commissioner, who supervises the Internal Administration Group, Revenue Collection Monitoring Group, Assessment and Operations Coordination Group, Intelligence Group, Enforcement Group, Management Information System and Technology Group and Post Clearance Audit Group.

  • The Internal Administration Group (IAG) assists the Commissioner in the formulation of policies and in the setting up of objectives relative to financial, administrative, personnel, planning and management improvement services of the bureau. The Deputy Commissioner for IAG represents the Commissioner in meetings and conferences; signs memorandum circulars; and reviews official communications and documents relevant to internal administration.
  • The Revenue Collection Monitoring Group (RCMG) maintains an accounting of revenues collected; administers the legal requirements of the bureau; provides information and analysis of collection statistics; and audits liquidated entries and bonds.
  • The Assessment and Operations Coordination Group (AOCG) gathers and publishes of values of commodities imported into the country; and monitors implementation of rules and regulations governing assessment, end processing of goods for exports, warehousing and support operations, and auction and disposal activities.
  • The Intelligence Group (IG) gathers intelligence information related to customs and economic activities; conducts internal inquiry and investigation; and exercises police authority.
  • The Enforcement Group (EG) exercises police authority at all ports, taking charge of customs border control, port security and communication, as well as inspection and monitoring of cargoes.
  • The Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG) assumes direct management and control of Information Technology facilities and responsible for overall supervision of the different operating units.
  • The Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG) is headed by the Assistant Commissioner, mandated to conduct final payment of duties and taxes or customs clearance, an audit examination, inspection, verification and investigation of records pertaining to any goods declaration, for the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of the goods declaration and determining the liability of the importer of duties, taxes and other charges, including any fine or penalty.

Collection Districts

The Commissioner is also assisted by 17 District Collectors who supervises the seventeen Collection Districts and responsible for the implementation of customs laws, and policies and programs of the bureau in different ports of entry in the country.

Commissioners

Isidro Lapeña was Customs Commissioner from 2017-2018.
Juan Ponce Enrile was Customs Commissioner from 1966–1968.
Name Term
Start End
Insular Collectors of the Port of Manila (1902-1946)
Morgan Anhister 1902 1916
J.S. Stanley 1916 1918
Vicente Aldenese 1918 1937
Guillermo Gomez 1937 1945
Melencio Fabros 1945 1946
Commissioners (1946–present)
Alfredo de Leon 1947 1950
Alfredo Jacinto 1950 1954
Jaime Velasquez 1954 1955
Manuel P. Manahan 1955 1957
Eleuterio Capapas 1957 1960
Timoteo Y. Aseron 1960
Eleuterio Capapas 1960 1961
Rolando G. Geotina 1961
Cesar Climaco 1962
Norberto Romualdez 1962 1963
Rodrigo D. Perez, Jr. 1963 1964
Jose Lingad 1964
Alfredo D. de Joya 1964 1965
Pablo C. Mariano 1965
Jacinto T. Gavino 1965 1966
Juan Ponce Enrile 1966 1968
Rolando G. Geotina 1968 1975
Alfredo Pio de Roda, Jr. 1975 1977
Ramon J. Farolan 1977 1986
Wigberto Tañada 1986 1987
Alexander A. Padilla 1987
Salvador M. Mison 1987 1991
Tomas Apacible 1991 1992
Guillermo L. Parayno, Jr. 1992 1998
Paolo C. Mendoza, Jr. 1998
Nelson A. Tan 1998 1999
Renato A. Ampil 1999 2001
Titus V. Villanueva 2001 2002
Antonio M. Bernardo 2002 2004
George M. Jereos 2004 2005
Alberto D. Lina 2005
Alexander M. Arevalo July 2005 December 2005
Napoleon M. Morales January 2006 July 2010
Angelito A. Alvarez July 2010 September 2011
Rozanno Rufino B. Biazon September 2011 2013
John Philip Sevilla December 2013 April 2015
Alberto D. Lina April 2015 June 30, 2016
Nicanor Faeldon[3] June 30, 2016 August 21, 2017
Isidro Lapeña August 21, 2017 October 25, 2018
Rey Leonardo Guerrero October 25, 2018 present
References:[4][5][6]

Controversies and corruption

On May 2017, a ₱6.4 billion worth of methamphetamine, locally known as shabu was seized in two warehouses in Valenzuela, Metro Manila. The Bureau of Customs was criticized for its alleged role in the smuggling of the illegal drugs into the country.

On May 28, 2017, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized ₱6.4 billion worth of methamphetamine in two warehouses in Barangay Ugong of Valenzuela in Metro Manila. The BOC said that they acted on an intelligence report relayed to them by the General Administration of Customs of China. The seizure was made in accordance to a Letter of Authority issued by BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. The BOC officials reportedly accompanied by personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency who inspected the warehouses found the contraband in five metal cylinders.

Investigation:

During the Senate and House hearings alleged details on how the shipment of illegal drugs was smuggled into the Philippines. On May 16, 2017, the ship Guang Ping Voyage No. 1719S, which carried the container with the seized methamphetamine arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Tondo, Manila. The cargo of the ship was lodged on the next day by Customs broker, Teejay Marcellana, who claims that the shipment contained kitchenware. The following day, the importer of the goods, EMT Trading which is owned by Eirene Tatad paid the customs and duties for the shipment. The firm says that they were not aware of the illegal drugs inside the shipment. The shipment was then passed through the green lane where shipments were not scanned through X-ray. According to protocol, shipments accepted by first time importers or from China were not allowed to be passed through the green lane. A truck registered under Golden Strike Logistics transported the container with methamphetamine out from the MICP on May 23.

Chinese businessman Richard Tan, also known as Chen Ju Long, narrates during the congressional hearing that he called the Bureau of Customs at 11pm (PST) after he was informed about the illegal drugs shipment by Zhang Xiaohui of the Chinese General Administration of Customs. Customs broker, Mark Taguba claims that Tan was behind the smuggling of the drugs who says that he was hired by the businessman to "fix" the shipment through a middle man named Kenneth Dong.

By the Senate:

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee made an investigation regarding the alleged role of the Bureau of Customs in the smuggling of the ₱6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs. The committee headed by Richard Gordon has labeled of BOC personnel with alleged links to the case as either incompetent or co

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bureau of Customs". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Speech of President Corazon Aquino on the 86th Foundation Anniversary of the Bureau of Customs, February 5, 1988". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Presidential Museum and Library. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Faeldon is Customs chief: source". ABS-CBN News. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Commissioners". Bureau of Customs. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Sevilla quits as Customs chief". Manila: ABS-CBN News. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Alberto Lina is new Customs Chief". Bureau of Customs. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.

External links

  • Official website
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