The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now requiring all customs deputy commissioners, district collectors and subport collectors to create a public assistance/complaints desk in their respective units to improve transparency in the bureau.
In a statement, the bureau said that Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon issued a memorandum on September 3, instructing all concerned customs officials to submit to his office within 10 days the names of the designated public assistance point person, public assistance hotline numbers and email addresses of their respective public assistance and complaints desks.
Biazon said that the public assistance and complaints desk shall handle all inquiries regarding BOC processes, as well as complaints against customs officials.
The commissioner also stressed that all complaints against customs officials/personnel received by the corresponding public assistance and complaints desk must be forwarded to the Office of the Commissioner’s (OCOM) Public Assistance/Complaints Desk.
The OCOM Public Assistance/Complaints Desk, which is handled by lawyer Jennifer Lagbas, can be reached at telephone no. (632) 527-1935 and through firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I believe that opening up the customs processes to the public and being sensitive to stakeholders’ needs and complaints against the BOC and its officials through the public assistance/complaints desk shall be a good start for real reforms in the BOC,” Biazon said, adding that the move could be a deterrent to corruption in the bureau.
He added that an informed public and stakeholders about customs processes and their options, should they be harassed by corrupt customs officials, shall keep customs misfits from bothering them.
Mayvelin U. Caraballo