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BOC personnel to wear body cameras

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
BOC personnel to wear body cameras
In a 10-page memorandum order, the BOC said the rules on the use of body-worn cameras or other alternative recording devices took effect on Oct. 1, requiring officials and employees to wear them when “in the exercise of police authority” and “in the conduct of other customs operations.”
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) are now required to wear body cameras when conducting operations, in compliance with the Supreme Court (SC)’s rules on the use of body-worn cameras when executing warrants.

In a 10-page memorandum order, the BOC said the rules on the use of body-worn cameras or other alternative recording devices took effect on Oct. 1, requiring officials and employees to wear them when “in the exercise of police authority” and “in the conduct of other customs operations.”

The BOC said that body cameras should be worn during approved controlled delivery operations, boarding formalities, conduct of auction sales, destruction or condemnation and transport of goods to designated facilities and on e-tracking-related operations.

Customs officials and employees are also required to wear body cameras during fuel marking operations, guarding duty at customs import exit gates for containers or cargo, hot pursuit operations, inspection of consignees’ offices and non-intrusive examination of goods.

Body-worn cameras are also required during the physical examination of goods within or outside customs zones; serving a letter of authority; and conducting a search of travelers arriving from foreign countries as well as of vehicles, persons, animals, vessels and aircraft, among others.

Under the guidelines set by the memorandum, customs officials and employees are to ensure that body-worn cameras are functional, visible to the public and start recording as soon as operations commence.

Body-worn cameras or alternative recording devices should be turned off after the operation is concluded and when discussing matters not related to the operations, among other conditions stated under the SC rules.

The BOC said that officials and employees violating the memorandum will be held liable for criminal, civil and administrative offenses.

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