The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said seven accredited banks responded to its call to adjust their operations to accommodate extended clearance of payments for the bureau’s stakeholders.
In a statement on Monday, the bureau said Deutsche Bank, Security Bank, Asia United Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank), Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. (BDO) and EastWest Bank are now operating on extended hours.
The bureau said its appeal to the banks is aimed to expedite release of shipments and avoid port congestion.
On January 11 this year, the BOC said the service was initialized via the PAS 5
Host-to-Host 24/7 interface by the Philippine Clearing House Corp., a private corporation collectively owned by commercial banks listed as members of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP).
The BAP assisted the system rollout by disseminating information to its participating banks, the BOC said.
Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina began pressing for extended working hours schedules through the bureau at the onset of his term as the new chief last year.
Since October last year, customs employees are required to report to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Recently, the Port of Cebu started operating on a 24-hour schedule.
“I am thankful for the positive response shown by these banks and hope that this service upgrade will improve the bureau’s revenue performance,” Lina said.
“We are already seeing faster movement within our ports in terms of released shipments over the weekends, which had been otherwise not possible without this extended clearing payment service,” he added.
Lastly, Lina said the agency would continue to look for ways to provide better services for the stakeholders even in these last few remaining months in the administration.