• 8 ex-generals removed as acting BOC collectors

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    EIGHT retired generals-turned-acting port collectors of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have been ordered replaced by Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina just before the election ban took effect over the weekend.

    Lina was forced to terminate the services of the retired generals as acting port collectors after Congress denied the budgetary requirements of the Office of Revenue Agency Modernization (ORAM) in the 2016 national budget.

    The eight were identified as Esteban Castro, acting collector of Clark International Airport; Ernesto Benetiz Jr. Port of Batangas; Mario Mendoza, Port of Manila; Elmir dela Cruz, Manila International Container Port; Arnulfo Marcos, Port of Cebu; Jerry Lorescom, Port of Zamboanga; Bonifacio de Castro, Port of San Fernando; and Rolando Ricafrente, Port of Limay.

    Except for Ricafrente whose next-in-rank is still being considered, the retired generals will be replaced by next-in-rank officers effective immediately.

    The former military officers were originally detailed at the ORAM.

    But in 2013, the Department of Finance reassigned some Customs district collectors to the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO) and put in their place the retired generals forming the ORAM, which is responsible for implementing a system and processing enhancement to improve revenue revenues based on their ‘integrity, management skills and capabilities.’

    “It’s important to note that the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Customs have extensively defended ORAM during the budget hearings to retain [the office],” Lina said.

    “We trust that the next-in-line officers know the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines by heart, the appropriate Customs valuations and assessments, and duties and taxes. We also need a strengthened push in terms of our investigations against smugglers and getting convictions,” he added.

    The bureau posted revenues of P366.9 billion cumulatively for 2015, P69.6 billion lower than the target of P436.5 billion.

    Year on year, it falls short by P2.3 billion or 0.6 percent of its revenue targets.

    The month of December registered P37.1 billion in total collections, 5.8 percent or P2.2 billion lower than the P39.4-billion target.

    But there is an increase in actual cash collection by 20 percent or P5.4 billion than the same month in 2014.

    The bureau’s top performers for 2015 (above-target revenue collections) are: Zamboanga (by P175 million), Legazpi (by P290 million) and Iloilo (by P2.3 billion).

    The lowest performers were Aparri, Limay and San Fernando, falling short of targets by P455 million, P23 billion and P835 million, respectively.

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    5 Comments

    1. Sabi ng DOF ndi inaprubahan ang budget ng ORAM sa Congress? At tinanggal ang Generals.. According to my source.. Bakit anjan pa ang Collector ng Port of Davao which is a retired General din at kasama sa ORAM at ndi nasali sa tinanggal. So meaning pili pili lang pala ito..or baka malakas talaga ang kapit nung Collector na un na si Ret.General Ricardo Butalid of Port of Davao.. Napakaimposible naman po un na lahat ng ksama niya ay tnaggal at siya lang ang hndi.. Cno ang mgssweldo sa kanya? Eh ndi nga inaprubahan ang budget nila kaya pnagtatanggal ang Generals. Gobyerno talaga!

      • According to civil service rules, when an employee is hired in violation of civil service rules, the appointing authority will be liable for the employee’s salaries.

        Since it is DOF Secretary Purisima who appointed Butalid as Port of Davao Collector, therefore he should pay for Butalid’s salaries.

    2. There should be an “oversight committee” to keep an eye on these employees at all times. Every year, a shortage of 2.2 or 2.3 Billion Pesos of revenue collections is beyond my comprehension level. Why they hired these retired Generals in the first place? The lost revenues would have helped a lot of poor Filipinos in so many ways. Most if not all of these retired Generals graduated from PMA and should have learned about moral value when serving the government.

    3. It appears that here in the Philippines we get officials of somewhat dubious honesty –I would of liked to have thought, that having reached the rank of General..The integrity,and honesty of this person, would beyond question..Sadly we have seen this not to be the case …As we have seen that high ranking police officers; have been forced to go before the senate;on corruption charges
      Seems the crime is nt what you do–It is getting caught doing it !

      Dr David M Meyer (PhD psych}

    4. Leave it to the Generals!!!! Why? Anyone who is appointed to a highly sensitive government position should undergo an extensive life style check. Are these generals clean? Maybe some of them are even member of the Euro Generals? Who knows. And why hire ex-generals? If their life style is living on what they honestly earned before, then theoretically they don’t need a high paying job position to augment their pension.