The Department of Finance (DOF) on Wednesday questions the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) that prevents the implementation of Customs Per-sonnel Order (CPO) B-189-2013.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima expressed dismay over the court order, saying that it runs counter to President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s directive to reform the Bureau.
“Reform at the BOC is an absolute necessity directed by President Aquino himself.The implementation of this order is crucial not just to restoring trust in the BOC but to stamp out smugglers once and for all,” Purisima said.
“TROs like this tie government’s hands and serve the malicious interests he is campaigning against,” he added.
The latter directs 27 collectors of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to be transferred the newly created Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO) under the DOF.
The petition was filed by 15 of the 27 BOC officials covered by the CPO. Among the petitioners for the TRO are Port of Cebu Collector Edward dela Cuesta, Port of Manila Collector Rogel Gatchalian, and NAIA Collector Carlos So.
Collectors ‘most qualified’ to form CPRO
Meanwhile, Purisima questioned the petitioners’ intent for filing the TRO, dismissing allegations that their transfer to CPRO was tantamount to a demotion and dismissal.
“The CPRO is a legitimate office created with the purpose of ensuring that the BOC is aligned with the international standards on customs administration. These collectors, by their own admis-sion of seniority and rank, are in fact the most qualified to reach this objective.
TRO will not affect BOC’s reform program – Biazon
For his part, BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Wednesday said that the overall reform program of the BOC will not be significantly affected by the issuance of a 72-hour TRO issued by Judge dela Cruz Jr. on the implementation of CPO B-189-2013 transferring all collectors five and six of the BOC to the newly created CPRO at the DOF.
“The transfer of customs collectors five and six to the CPRO is just part of a bigger reform agenda for the BOC. We have other reform measures already being undertaken in the BOC. So we don’t see the TRO as a major setback to this admi-nistration’s thrust to reform the Bureau of Customs,” Biazon said.
Raadee S. Sausa