Lawmaker allays concern on Duterte emergency powers to reform Customs

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2017 11:39 PM

House Ways and Means Committee chair Dakila Cua on Tuesday allayed concerns on lawmakers' recommendation to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to reform the Bureau of Customs. 

“We will go through consultation again but hopefully we will do it in a shorter time frame, hindi two years. Ang point lang diyan he will have powers beyond what is already granted on the commissioner and the President so he can take quick action," Cua told reporters.

Cua, however, offered some possibilities into the President's emergency powers like privatizing the auction function of the bureau.

“Doon sa emergency power na yan gusto natin he will have powers to possibly privatize some function. Isang halimbawa diyan pag auction 'pag naconfiscate ng bureau ng illegal shipment, pwede nila auction. Gusto natin maging transparent ang auctioneering," he said.

"At sa tulong ng pangulo kung bibigyan natin ng emergency powers he can reorganize the bureau he can remove people he thinks must be removed without thinking of civil service violations," he added.

Cua said the abolition of the bureau is “drastic” but added that it will be subject to consultation with stakeholders. 

“It may seem drastic, 'di naman natin gagawin nang basta basta we will ensure that we will consult with stakeholders, brokers, shippers, importers para when we rebuild or when we create the new bureaus we will start from ground up,” he said.

After investigating the smuggling of some P6.4 billion worth of shabu last May, the committee has recommended, among others, the abolition of the Customs so it can be replaced by 2 new agencies. 

The Bureau of Customs Service under the Department of Finance is set to take over the revenue collection function while the Bureau of Security Control under the Department of the Interior and Local Government will assume the border control function.