BOC New Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz accepts the BOC flag from Department of Finance Undersecretary Antonette C. Tiongko as outgoing Comm. Rey Leonardo Guerrero (left) looks on during the formal turnover ceremony at the Port of Manila, July 25, 2022.

PBBM lists ‘top priorities’ for BOC under his term

July 25, 2022 Paul M. Gutierrez 509 views

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (PBBM) wants the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to focus on three major areas as his first customs commissioner, Yogi Filemon Ruiz, the director of the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS/Customs Police), faced the media yesterday after formally assuming the top customs post.

According to Ruiz, the President said the government would adopt “zero tolerance” on drug smuggling, the “elimination” of agricultural smuggling, and the entry of illegal firearms into the country.

Likewise, the Chief Executive also instructed Ruiz to continue with the full automation of the agency that was started by the Duterte administration under Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and has already covered 92 percent of the bureau’s systems and processes.

Finally, Ruiz said the President also expects the agency to continue increasing its revenue collection, achieving “historic” highs under Guerrero.

Already at the end of the first half of 2022, Guerrero would be leaving behind a surplus of over P68 billion in the surplus collection while consistently surpassing its assigned annual target since 2019.

Aside from the President’s personal instructions, Ruiz said he would add to them the goal of increasing employees’ morale and the campaign against corruption.

“I am not here to please anyone but only one person, the President,” Ruiz said. “Sa mga kasamahan ko na ayaw gumawa ng tama, pasensiyahan tayo,” he added.

The simple turnover ceremony yesterday at the BOC main office at the Port of Manila was witnessed by Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko, with very few guests and witnesses as the agency continues to adhere to its health safety protocols.

Ruiz had earlier taken his oath of office before President Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on his appointment to the top customs post last July 20.

Ruiz also thanked Guerrero for implementing the much-needed “reformation” of the bureau, a historical legacy that, he said, is now his duty to continue.

He also vowed to “carry on the good governance and process reforms that were started,” by his predecessor.

Guerrero, for his part, congratulated and welcomed Ruiz, who, according to him, is “a public servant with a track record of accomplishments that will surely bring new energy to the Bureau.”

“Being part of the organization for several years now, you have the advantage of hitting the ground running, so to speak, and a familiarity with the ins and outs that will serve you in good stead as you steward our institution towards mission accomplishment,” Guerrero said to the incoming commissioner.

Guerrero, the highly respected former Armed Forces chief of staff, has been customs commissioner since October 2018.