The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released a new administrative order against nepotism in the agency as part of the government’s campaign to curb corruption.
According to the latest policy, no relative (up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity) of a current Customs officer or employee whether regular, temporary, or casual can be appointed or designated to any position in the Bureau.
In a statement on Wednesday, the BOC said its drive against nepotistic practices in the government has been strengthened with the release of the new policy contained in Customs Administrative Order 03-2014, which details the anti-nepotism rules on appointments and assignments within the bureau.
Existing BOC employees affected
Relatives who are already holding positions in the Bureau at the time of the effectivity of the order are partly exempted from it. The BOC statement clarified, however, that they cannot be promoted, designated, assigned, or detailed to any BOC office, service or section in which a relative is also holding office.
“In addition, all existing employees in the same office, service, or section who are related to each other within the fourth degree of consanguinity shall be re-assigned or transferred to a separate office, service, or section subject to specific guidelines to be promulgated by the Commissioner and applicable with Civil Service laws,” the administrative order said.
“With the effectivity of the order, persons applying for a position in the Bureau shall now disclose under oath, in his or her application, the identities of relatives who are currently working in BOC,” it added.
“I think this is a step in the right direction as we try to wipe out the culture of corruption that has plagued the Bureau since time immemorial. I am not saying that those with relatives working in the Bureau are corrupt, but we are eradicating any suspicion against our employees,” said Customs Commissioner John Sevilla.
The bureau said the administrative order augments the rules on nepotism laid down in Section 59, Book V of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (also known as Executive Order 292) and other laws of Civil Service regulations.
Furthermore, Sevilla said the new policy would prevent conflict of interest or even the appearance of conflict of interest in the performance of Customs employees’ duties and responsibilities.
“We have already made progress in our fight against corruption, such as in the filing of administrative cases against 16 BOC employees. Now we are putting in policies that will further nip corruption in the bud. The anti-nepotism policy is aimed to promote integrity, professionalism, and work excellence among Bureau employees,” he said.