PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to shun corruption and live like ordinary government workers.
In his speech during the 115th anniversary celebration of the BOC, Duterte said it is his duty to implement his promise to rid the government of corruption.
“Live simply. I have been a prosecutor almost about — I was doing trial work for almost nine years. The secret really there is do not crave for things that you cannot afford. Do not dream of things beyond your reach,” Duterte said.
“As we set out to implement reforms, improve operations and crack down against graft and corruption, you will see that some of your colleagues and friends will be affected by our efforts. It is my hope that you’ll lend me your support in bringing them into the light or in bringing them down if they choose so,” he said.
Duterte emphasized that revenue collections give the government the means to provide crucial services to the people.
“As the money collected by the Bureau of Customs counts for a significant chunk of government earnings, we have to be relentless in our drive to maintain a credible, efficient, and effective Customs Bureau,” Duterte said.
The President then lauded the performance of Customs, which he said reflected many changes taking place in the bureau.
“The modest collection performance posted last November 2016 was an eye-opener. It was the first time that government was truly able to exceed the collection target since December of 2014,” Duterte said.
The President also urged the BOC to beef up its enforcement operations, saying the agency is at the frontline of efforts to combat smuggling and illegal drugs.