‘Customs brokers’ role in nation-building crucial’

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The Department of Finance (DoF) over the weekend said Customs brokers have a “crucial role” in nation-building and in helping the Duterte administration in its plan to shift the Philippines to a federal form of government.

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In a statement, Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said the brokers play as among the lead partners of the administration in its campaign to lick official corruption, eliminate poverty and promote trade and investments in the country, which has become one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

She pointed out that the Customs brokers will help the new government raise an extra P1 trillion each year for massive investments in infrastructure, human capital and social protection, for it to keep up the growth momentum and reduce poverty incidence from the current 21.5 percent to 14 percent by 2022.

“The role you will be playing from this day forward will be crucial in the coming years as our government ramps up its spending activities to foster a sustainable and an equitable growth and development,” Tionko was quoted as saying at the recent Customs brokers’ oath-taking at the Tent City of The Manila Hotel.

She said the government’s full support for the profession of Customs brokers is underlined in the Customs Modernization Act (CMTA), which has declared the State’s policy ‘to give priority attention and support to professionalizing the practice of the Customs brokers’ profession in the Philippines which will be beneficial to the country in general and to the economy in particular.

“As the government’s partner in nation-building,” Tionko added, “each of you will hold in your hands, and hopefully not in your pockets, the much needed revenues that will allow us to build new roads, airports, schools and other public facilities, as well as fund services our great people badly need and rightfully deserve.”

Given the government plan to shift to a federal form of government, she also pointed out, local governments, which largely rely on their share of Bureau of Internal Revenue collections, will have a larger piece of the total revenues of the national government, which include contributions from Customs collections and other sources.”

The Finance department, Tionko said, already set in motion public consultations on the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations for the CMTA, which was enacted to modernize rules and procedures for faster trade, reduce opportunities for corruption, improve service delivery and improve the supply chain.

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