8,000 Customs bureau brokers may lose jobs

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THOUSANDS of professional Customs brokers are up in arms against a vigorous multinational lobby for passage of a measure in Congress that they claim will render them “extinct.”

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In an interview with The Manila Times, officials of the Philippine Society of Filipino Customs Brokers Inc. (The Society), which is affiliated with the Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI), assailed specific provisions of House Bill 5525 or the Customs and Tariff Modernization Act (CMTA) that aim to remove them from business.

They argued that the bill, if passed, would have serious economic ramifications.

“We have about 8,000 members nationwide. If this law is passed, it will be detrimental not only to us or our families but to students and educational institutions that are offering Customs-related courses,” Roberta Riga, a licensed Customs broker and former president of CCBI, said.

Riga and other officers of The Society and CCBI said they are planning to hold protest actions to denounce “discreet” moves of lawmakers to have the bill passed, apparently because of strong pressure from multinational companies that will benefit from the measure.

The groups said a similar bill is also pending before the Senate ways and means committee heade by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara.

The measure was proposed in order to align the Philippines’ Customs administration with standards set by the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures or the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), which was designed to standardize Customs policies and procedures worldwide.

“Unfortunately, despite the perceived goodness of the intention of the RKC, some of the groups behind this bill had taken advantage [of it]in order to transform the practice of the Customs brokers profession in the Philippines into a mere “disadvantaged option” detrimental to the interest not only of the professional Customs brokers but [also]of the Philippine government,” a position paper submitted by the group to Angara’s committee said.

“Some of the provisions of the bill are inconsistent with the Bureau of Customs initiatives of promoting effective, efficient and secured trade facilitation,” the position paper added.

The groups specifically cited Section 106 (Declarant) of the bill as “unfair, arbitrary and oppressive” because it gives the “declarant” the option whether to tap the services of Customs brokers.

Such option, it was said, “is an alienation of the Filipino Customs broker from the domain of his profession.”

This declarant provision, the group explained, will abolish mandatory use of the Customs broker profession, which was respected in the World Trade Organization-Bali Ministerial Declaration adopted on December 7, 2013 that asked legislators to “modernize the Philippine Customs and tariff administration without prejudice to the conduct of profession of Filipino Customs brokers.”

Customs brokers are professionals in the contemplation of existing Customs laws and the Professional Regulations Commission Modernization Act. They underwent a four-year baccalaureate program, the Bachelor of Science inCustoms Administration, and had passed rigorous licensure examinations.

“Customs brokers are professionals committed to a life of service to others. They protect life, property and public welfare. To serve others, they shall be prepared for heroic sacrifice and genuine selflessness in carrying out their professional duties even at the expense of personal gains,” the group noted in its position paper.

In a separate interview, Agaton Uvero, Customs deputy commissioner for assessment and operations coordinating group, who has been representing the bureau in previous congressional hearings, told The Manila Times that the BOC took a “neutral” stand during the time of resigned Customs Commissioner John Sevilla, because the latter showed little interest in the bill.

He admitted that there are big multinational companies and chambers of foreign businessmen that are strongly pushing for the passage of the measure. The bureau, however, has now taken a “pro-broker” stand because Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina is supportive of the cause of The Society and the CCBI.

“In fact, I can say that I support their profession but they need to modernize their curriculum to include international trade and supply chain specialization,” Uvero said.

“I was neutral then because that was the position taken by Commissioner Sevilla. But now the official position of the BOC is pro-brokers,” the deputy commissioner, himself a licensed Customs broker, said.

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21 Comments

  1. Employees ng BOC ang corrupt. Sana ang tuunan ng pansin is yung revision ng ilang sections sa TCCP and ang ilang BOC employees, ang mga companyang mismong nag smu smuggling. It’s really unfair. At sana wag naman isaisip na “CUSTOMS BROKER AY CORRUPT” Katulong din kami para sa government project kasi COLLECTING ARM OF THE GOVERNMENT DIN KAMI. (Tax and other charges) Tsk. It really breaks my heart tho.

  2. First, hindi corrupt profession namin, Yes indeed, maraming corruption pero hindi lang sa profession namin. Super unfair sa part namin as a LCB na kami ang mawawalan. Dugo and pawis din ang inalay namin para maging Customs Broker. Pinag aralan ng 4 years and passed the board exam with all our heart. Minsan kung sino pa ang hindi BROKER yun pa ang CORRUPT. BOC ang corrupt HINDI ANG MGA BROKERS.

  3. Customs and Tariff Modernization Act (CMTA) will solve the corruption in the entire customs industries in our country from custom brokers to BOC.

    Let the bill passed Its time to get rid of this corrupt profession..If the bill is for the good of the great majority then it should be made into law. go for it!!

    • The customs broker profession will not die once the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) is passed, contrary to the position of the Customs Brokers and National Students Organization of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

      “Both the importer (as declarant) and the licensed customs broker (in his capacity as a licensed professional) shall sign, and both will have the responsibility to declare importations correctly. If they violate customs laws, then both of them will be liable,” Uvero said.

  4. hindi brokers ang porblema, maraming provision sa TCCP ang mali dapat yung TCCP ang pagtoonan ng pansin and e revise.3rd student na ako and if maipasa po ang bill na to mawawalang bisa lang ang pinagaralan ko . . . hindi po kami ang may poblema palibhasa ang gumawa ng bill na to ay hindi customs broker ..

  5. miss Rebeck don’t judge us as corrupt profession all profession have corruption better think more than ten times before you accused us, examined your conscience, and stand at the mirror if I didn’t commit any mistake.

  6. Kahit anong ahensya ng gobyerno, grabe ang korupsyon, wag naman BOC lang tutukan nyo.At hindi po lahat ng opisyal ng BOC ay graduate ng Customs related courses. Mas maganda paupuin nyo mga graduate talaga ng Customs Courses para mabawasan problema. Pinapaaral ko po ng nasabing kurso ang anak ko para makatulong….

  7. @ eagoy— di customs broker ang ugat ng corruption… kundi ung mga official n masyado greedy sa pera. Sa ibang myamang bansa gaya ng us my broker pero maunlad cla ..gobyerno ang dapat imodernize!! Sa ikakaunlad ng bansa!!

  8. Ang 8000 n customs broker mamamayan din ng pilipinas my karapatan din mabuhay.ibis payatin ng gobyerno ang hanp buhay nila dapat ienhance nila ang profession para mging asset ng bansa .. dapat sa BOC puro customs brokers ang ihire kc my sapat cla kaalaman hindi ung pinagkukuha nila ung mga my backer n nasa posistion sa BOC. Pnoy sana iconsider mo parte ng bansa ang mga customs broker di puro mayayaman n negosyante pinapanigan ng gobyerno!!!!!!

  9. Wala na bang magawang mas magandang bill ung senador?! Kahit saan may curruption. Well, kung nagmamalinis ka na wala kang kurapsyon sa katawan mo, maligo ka muna, andumi dumi mo na. This is UNFAIR to those 8000 custom broker and also to their families. Dagdag mo pa ung mga nagaaral ng professions na yan. I myself is not at this line of profession, pero maging makatao at patas na lang sana ung mambabatas. If you think you are professional enough, think again, maybe you loosen some screw in your head. I think every bill should be examine thoroughly, hindi ung suggest kau ng suggest ng bill na hindi gngamitan ng utak. Madami pang dapat pagtuunan ng pansin hindi lang sa mga ganitong bagay, walang kwenta!. ok NEXT BILL!!!!!

  10. Careful ka sa mga pinagsasabi mo rebeck bautista..di mo alam pinagdaanan namin pra lahatin mong ijudge profession namin..

  11. Rebeck Bautista on

    Let the bill passed Its time to get rid of this corrupt profession . It will only affect economic ramifications with these corrupt brokers. None of the brokers is honest anyways.

    • Most of the BOC employees are not customs broker but they are the most corrupt.
      if they will pass that wala nang takot magdeclare ng cargo kasi wala na license na mawawala sa kanila.
      Better na mgkaroon ng mabigat na suction ang brokers na lalabag sa rules..
      puro multinational na company ang makikinabang dyan.. di nio kasi alam ang style ng mga yan para makalusot.

    • “None of the brokers is honest anyways”. Honesty nasa tao yun kahit anu pa profession mo,, wag mo husgahan ang bagay na di mo napagdaanan … ang pakirasong plastic card na galing PRC pinaghirapan ng mga magulang para maging lihitimong professional ang mga anak nila.
      mga abogado, doctor, teacher at ibang profession ay my corruption din at nababayaran.. mahirap humusga,, kahit ikaw for sure sa buhay mo naging corrupt ka din in some point.

    • FYI Ms. Rebecca hindi po lahat ng broker corrupt… nagpakahirap din po kami sa pag aaral bago kami maging licensed so konting preno nmn sa pag accused sa mga brokers.

    • Do you even know what are you sayin Rebeck Bautista? Do you have any idea how hard to pass our Board Exam?! or do you even work in the logistics Industry for you to tell that brokers are corrupt?! Are you sure that the other professions are not corrupt?! Lesson 101 the Bureau of Customs is corrupt and not the Brokers! Try to research first before you give your comment!

    • Kung walang honest na brokers edi sana walang nakakalabas na kargamento sa mga port. Hello Ms. Rebecca.

    • Tanggalin ang mga Hindi Licensed Customs Broker sa aduana, ano alam ng mga yan? tumara ng bente pesos kada Pirma? mangurakot? nakapasok sa Aduana dahil may kamag Anak na POLITIKO!!!, Ipalit ang tunay na may alam sa Customs at International Trade at yun ay ang mga Customs graduate at mga Customs Broker.

      LONG LIVE FELLOW CUSTOMS BROKER!!!

    • no brother, sa Japan Customs, Broker pa din ang declarant, pero maayos ang sistema nila, ang mga nagpapatupad ng regulasyon sa Customs ang may Problema, hindi kaming mga Brokers

  12. If the bill is for the good of the great majority then it should be made into law. Otherwise it is unfair naman sa 8,000 customs bureau brokers na mawalan nang trabaho.