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Computer upgrade should do it at BOC


Ruffy Biazon, Customs, Fake Chinese Beer

Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon. FILE PHOTO

Despite a P435-million grant from the European Union (EU) in 2008 and $10 million in aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) in 2009 to put up an information technology (IT) system, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) continues to be plagued by the “recurring problems of computer network slowdown and downtime,” adversely affecting agency operations.

But Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon is confident the situation would improve next year with the setting up of the Integra-ted Philippine Computer System or IPCS.

The BOC has allocated P500 million from its 2013 budget for the program which would overhaul the agency’s IT network.

In a text message Sunday, Biazon told the Philippine Daily Inquirer “the project’s terms of reference are being finalized.”

“We are targeting awarding the contract sometime in the first quarter of 2013 before the election ban,” he said.

“The program budget will cover, among other things, the upgrade of the current customs clearance system, the petroleum inventory system and the online X-ray inspection system,” Biazon said.

“It also aims to integrate the BOC monitoring systems and capabilities to plug loopholes in the process, thereby enhancing trade security and facilitation as well as revenue collection,” he said.

When fully operational, the IPCS is expected to “facilitate faster transactions and tighter controls in the BOC,” according to Jaime Taborda, officer in charge of the bureau’s Management Information System and Technology Group.

“The recurring problem of computer downtime and slowdown in the bureau would eventually be addressed with the IPCS, which is part of our program to beef up the BOC’s hardware and software systems,” Taborda told a recent BOC media forum.

In 2008, the EU provided the BOC a five-year technical grant amounting to P435 million.

Citing the EU aid, the customs bureau said in a statement “the computerization of BOC operations is encouraging since it makes transactions easier, faster and more efficient.”

The computerization also “lessened the interaction between BOC personnel and clients, resulting in fewer opportunities for corruption,” the bureau said.

In mid-2009, Jica approved a $10-million financial grant to help the bureau develop a database during the tenure of Commissioner Napoleon Morales.

Called the Philippine Customs Intelligence System, the project was “aimed at collating data on the correct valuation of all imported merchandise,” Morales had announced.

He said the system was to be the centerpiece of a plan to go  paperless and queue-less at the bureau.

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Tags: Bureau of Customs , European Union , Government , Information Technology , IT , Jica

  • jeffrey_01

    If BOC is completely computerized is it corruption proof system?  Is there a verification why the system is not advertently down?  There’s no accountability if the system will be down for a few days.  It should be privatized.

    • http://twitter.com/Borogol Borogol

      the BOC dreams to become another BIR. that’s all,

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Dont just limit your option to computer and network upgrades, you should also look into hiring able and capable IT executives.

  • randyaltarejos

    Just make sure that the BOC Management Information System will not suffer a computer glitz in connivance with the crooks inside the bureau. Who can tell that the computers are not working properly? Now, it is up to BOC chief to hire an independent computer consultant to be on his side in time of emergency. When the computer systems are not working, it is easier to justify to operate the clearance and evaluation systems manually, which can be cause for corruption.

    • PikonNaKami

      It seems the consultants surrounding Biazon are also corrupt. 

  • serve_by_example

    Hi-tech, up to date gadget operated by a kowhrhappp BOC agent is as good as eating a soup sandwich.  Hanggat di na la lifestyle check at masibak ang mga sumobra ng pagka buwaya ay tuloy ang ligaya jan kahit pa anong klaseng hi-tech o kahit pa ilang ex- general, ex-this and ex-that ang ilagay ninyo jan walang pagbabago ang kupitan jan. Gudlak!

  • zeroko

    Lakng kickback sa BOC kaya sinasabutage nila ang computer. Alam naman ni Biazon yan. I doubt if he is already on the side of the smugglers. $70 billion smuggled goods is no joke.

  • philip99_manila

    To the Editor of this article.. There was an ongoing project with Philippine Ports Authority, UNISYS and BOC for computerization project. 1999-2006. The system was done but was not used. Sayang yung pera that time. Malaki nagastos ng Government that time. Investigate niyo yung PPA and UNISYS

  • WeAry_Bat

    ha ha ha ha

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUFRGRCCA5JXOLKEVCJQ3FBW3Y Concerned Citizen

    Computerization does not guarantee anything.  They will just go around the system by not recording an import entry and by ensuring there are no documents that will trace the importation.  The country has been under threat from China and it cannot afford to remain weak by not plugging  revenue leaks at this point.  Makisama na kayo.

  • jpmd88

    Despite a P435-million grant from the European Union (EU) in 2008 and
    $10 million in aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency
    (Jica) in 2009 to put up an information technology (IT) system, the
    Bureau of Customs (BOC) continues to be plagued by the “recurring
    problems of computer network slowdown and downtime,” adversely affecting
    agency operations.

    – why am I not surprised??

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KAAEZZZL7OMMZ5K4KCFETADLSM jerome

    Despite the fact that the grant is big enough to modernize BOC still the pockets of those employed are are really deep…Both the people and the system is the problem..

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