In late May Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla (a former Goldman Sachs trader) spoke to the media and outlined how drastic leadership leadership and leadership changes (such as firing customs officers complicit in smuggling!) were starting to “uproot corruption by rebooting customs”. Ports rationalization, better coordination with the Internal Revenue, adoption of best international customs practices, implementation of the agency’s international commitments, and updating the outdated Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines were under way. The problems the agency faces he said included too few Customs offices, only 994 computers with limited Internet access, low salaries and a credibility problem. However new performance targets, new hiring, overtime pay, more computers, a paperless office are all in the pipeline now.
These developments are attributed to criticism of the "Bureau of Corruption" by President Aquino in his State of the Nation Address last July. This really bodes well for IP holders, as Customs act on suspect shipments. File your recordals now!