Buhay Party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza Jr. urged his fellow lawmakers to scrap the P4.2-billion annual funding sought by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to fill up 3,233 vacant positions.
The House appropriations committee has finished deliberations on government agencies proposed budgets for 2018. Plenary debates on the proposed budget are set on September 4.
“There’s no point in wasting billions of pesos to double the number of Customs staff,” Atienza said in a statement.
Instead, the lawmaker called for the passage of a law requiring the pre-shipment inspection abroad of imports bound for the Philippines.
“Once we have pre-shipment inspection, the BOC will actually need fewer staff, because the bureau will be performing less work,” he said.
Atienza earlier filed House Bill 6220 that seeks the compulsory pre-shipment inspection of foreign cargoes headed for the country.
The BOC would be able to collect accurate import duties and taxes if there is a pre-shipment inspection, according to the lawmaker.
“As long as we have systemic corruption at the BOC, officials and staff there will continue to find ways to circumvent reforms,” Atienza said.