Rubio named BOC Chief

February 10, 2023 Paul M. Gutierrez 1898 views

MALACAÑAN late Friday announced the designation of veteran customs officer, Bienvenido “Ben” Rubio, as the new commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Rubio, a native of Batac, Ilocos Norte, rose from the ranks of the bureau, starting as a Special Agent (SA) 1 in 2001 before being appointed to the post of BOC Director III in charge of port operations service by President Rodrigo Duterte in January 2021 on the back of his accomplishments as an intelligence officer.

From SA 1, Rubio subsequently rose from the ranks as special investigator, intelligence officer and officer-in-charge of the Intelligence Division at the Manila International Container Port.

As port operations service director, Rubio has been credited for advancing the implementation of policies in enhancing port utilization and monitoring the storage, auction and disposal activities of all the bureau’s 17 collection districts.

Rubio also spearheaded the collaboration with the Strategic Trade Management Office, Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the Anti-Red Tape Authority in establishing mechanisms toward reinforcing trade facilitation, establishing seamless export procedures and critical information sharing.

In a brief statement to the media after the Palace announcement, Rubio said his top priorities, as directed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., are to hit and surpass the revenue target for this year, simplify and secure the facilitation of trade, curb smuggling in all its form, and uplift the morale of the men and women of the BOC.

In line with the President’s directive, the new customs chief said his plans include the review and revision of customs processes by digitalizing all BOC processes; enhance the competencies and integrity of personnel to ensure the delivery of quality public service; adopt a data-driven culture to ensure that the data gathered are utilized in the decision making for every level of the organization; and link the actions of the agency to the feedbacks and evaluation from its partners and stakeholders.

“I believe in promoting good governance by strengthening the Bureau of Customs first, through active collaboration with its partner-agencies and stakeholders. Essentially, stakeholders will always be considered and included in the process of improving customs services and procedures,” he explained.

“I am also confident that 90 percent of the problems encountered by the customs administration can be solved just by looking at things in an inward perspective,” he added.

Rubio attended the Hilario Valdez Memorial Elementary School for his primary education and the Immaculate Conception Academy for his secondary education, graduating as the class valedictorian.

He later earned his degree in AB Political Science at the Ateneo De Manila University and in 1999, his Juris Doctor degree at the San Beda College of Law and the San Sebastian College of Law.

Rubio would be replacing Yogi Filemon Ruiz who was appointed as acting commissioner by President Marcos Jr. last July 2022.

Rubio committed to continue the success of his predecessors as well as to introduce programs to reinforce the efforts of the BOC in the performance of its mandates.

Rubio will bring to the BOC chief’s post 21 years worth of experience in serving the public in various roles at the agency.

Hailing from Batac, Rubio draws strength and inspiration from his mother, who singlehandedly raised him and his two older sisters after their father passed away when he was only a year old.

Their mother worked at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation for over 30 years until she retired as assistant vice president and head of its Batac branch.

As the new BOC chief, Rubio has committed to further buttress the resolve of the bureau to protect the country’s borders from all forms of smuggling, especially those involving agricultural products and dangerous drugs.

On top of this, Rubio aspires to foster a healthier trade environment which will contribute to the expansion and economic recovery of the country by equipping BOC with better and modernized mechanisms for trade facilitation, and a more improved collection efficiency through the introduction of these sustainable reforms.