Subic BoC to implement ‘zero contact’ policy by Nov. 5

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Bureau of Customs will soon implement a “zero contact” policy in business transactions at the Port of Subic under the Enhanced Goods Declaration Verification System, or 1-Assessment System, which is designed to curtail corruption in processing cargoes and thus increase revenue collection for the government.

This was bared by Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Ian Dy of the Management and Information Technology Group of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) during a dialogue with business locators, brokers and representatives of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) here.

The 1-Assessment project will start here on November 5, with Subic as one of the pilot ports in the country, while the program will be fully implemented nationwide starting the first week of January 2019, Dy added.

Under the new system, the broker or the shipper will be prohibited from visiting or talking to the BoC examiner or appraiser or any personnel of the BoC while the documents of the cargo are still being processed. Otherwise, a stiff penalty will be imposed upon the violating party, Dy added.

Meanwhile, brokers and BoC officials should only communicate through the 1-Assessment portal where all their messages regarding a particular cargo can be read by the BoC Commissioner or his authorized officers.

Dy explained that 1-Assessment is a web-based queue management software/application that provides bias-free assessment by randomly assigning appraisers and examiners to goods entering the Port of Subic from foreign countries.

Among the main objectives of the 1-Assessment program is to prevent corruption by institutionalizing the “Zero Contact Policy” in transacting business with the BoC. This is designed to suppress the “suki system” in the cargo clearance process with the random assignment of examiners and appraisers to a given goods declaration.

Dy stressed that the good news about 1-Assessment is the transparency in the processing of goods declaration using a first-in-first-out basis, where the assignment of examiners or appraisers is done automatically by computers without human intervention, except by the Assessment Chief in case the assigned examiner or appraiser reached is not yet available.

SBMA Deputy Administrator for Ports Marketing Ronnie Yambao welcomed the implementation of the new system, saying it will enhance the agency’s thrust to make business in Subic transparent and efficient.

“The 1-Assessment is a program of the national government that supports the vision of SBMA to provide efficient services to all of Subic locators, especially port users,” Yambao said during the forum.

He added that the implementation of 1-Assessment program will help prevent corrupt practices and attract more shippers to transfer to Subic port.

“This is a one-time big-time opportunity to change the culture and custom inside the BoC,” Dy concluded his presentation.

He said that BoC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña’s marching order for all BoC personnel was to eradicate corruption in the Bureau. (Dante M. Salvana)

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