CUSTOMS Commissioner Isidro Lapena promoted to the next higher rank a total of 513 employees in line with the agency’s reform program to speed up the facilitation of trade and eliminate graft and corruption.
Lapena led the oath-taking on Monday of the employees in the first mass promotion in recent years which, he pointed out, was one of his priority programs to strengthen the ranks of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and to improve service standards to make it at par with other developed countries.
“With this promotion, we hope that you will be using your position not for self-interest but to ensure that our country’s borders are safe from all kinds of illegal transactions, and see to it that present policies against corruption [are implemented]and facilitate process to improve our revenue collection,” said Lapena.
The customs chief rallied the newly-promoted employees to be part of the reforms and changes he would be implementing, particularly against graft and corruption, by promoting transparency, professionalism, integrity and accountability in public service.
“We are facing many challenges, challenges that cannot be solved overnight. But despite all these challenges and public criticisms, we remain steadfast and optimistic in rebuilding the bureau’s image,” he added.
“It must be coming from us. The change in the image has to come from us. It is to be us, you and I. Nobody can change the image of the bureau but us,” Lapena said. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL