New Customs chief vows to meet P151-B collection target by yearend
() - July 14, 2005 - 12:00am
Newly designated Bureau of Customs (BOC) officer-in-charge Alexander Arevalo vowed yesterday that he will not be affected by the current political crisis and promised to deliver his agency’s yearend collection target of P151 billion.

"I am loyal to the duly-constituted authority," Arevalo said during the turnover ceremonies held at the Port of Manila. "I will protect the integrity of the (BOC) and I will not be distracted by the present crisis. Let us do our task, discharge our functions and meet the target."

"I intend to be at the forefront of this crisis. I will do my job as if I am the commissioner until I am replaced," he added.

Arevalo was serving as BOC deputy commissioner at the time he was appointed OIC of the bureau following the resignation of Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina.

Prior to Arevalo’s appointment as BOC deputy commissioner in 2001, he was the presidential assistant for e-commerce and information technology.

As presidential assistant for IT, Arevalo introduced the use of bar codes and hologram stickers on presidential documents and the use of digital technology in managing President Arroyo’s daily activities.

With his IT expertise, Arevalo also announced that he would continue Lina’s goal of creating paperless operation procedures at the BOC. He also aims to decentralize the operations of the bureau and enhance exports through computerization.

"Commissioner Lina has an aggressive drive towards exports," he said. "We will enhance exports by computerization." Despite his aggressive collection thrust, Lina left the BOC with a deficit of P4.4. billion, Arevalo said.

He also said the BOC will continue operating 12 hours a day — from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — to achieve its collection target.

Arevalo also said the BOC will enhance its cooperation with the Department of Finance (DOF) in conducting "lifestyle checks" on its employees and officials.

He is also seeking effective cooperation with the National Anti-Smuggling Task Force in going after big-time smuggling syndicates.

Meanwhile, Arevalo warned BOC officials and employees not to get involved in the ongoing political crisis: "Let our political leaders settle their differences. Their intention is good and their purpose is to serve the people and improve the economy the same way we serve the people and improve the economy but on a different aspect, by collecting the right taxes and duties to fund our social infrastructure." Mike Frialde

ALEXANDER AREVALO AREVALO BOC BUREAU OF CUSTOMS COMMISSIONER LINA CUSTOMS COMMISSIONER ALBERTO LINA DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE MIKE FRIALDE NATIONAL ANTI-SMUGGLING TASK FORCE PORT OF MANILA
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