“STOP corruption and increase revenue earnings.”
This, according to newly installed Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena, was President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to him as he formally took over the reins at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday.
Lapena said he would implement a one-strike policy, saying that he will dismiss those accused of corruption following a validation process.
He would also start his term with a clean slate, using incumbent officials fully knowledgeable with the work in the bureau.
But Lapena also said that he would assign fresh faces in some offices that had been corrupted.
He added: “No gifts or pasalubong.”
Lapena replaced Nicanor Faeldon who resigned amid allegations of corruption, highlighted by the illegal entry into the country of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) under the very nose of the BOC.
Faeldon was also accused of accepting P100 million as a “welcome gift” when he assumed the top post in 2016. Faeldon has since denied the allegation, which Sen. Panfilo Lacson claimed in a recent privilege speech.