WCO supports Philippines Customs with Comprehensive Integrity Action Planning

17 June 2022

The World Customs Organization (WCO) supported the Bureau of Customs of The Philippines (BoC) with an Integrity assessment validation and action-planning mission from 2 to 6 May 2022 in Manila, Philippines. The mission was made possible under the auspice of the ‘Accelerate Trade Facilitation’ programme – supported by the United Kingdom’s Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

With the guidance of WCO recognized Customs integrity experts of the State Revenue Committee of Kazakhstan and Pakistan Customs, the BoC Working Group conducted an extended analysis of the results of BoC’ ongoing work on integrity development and the outcomes of the integrity assessment conducted with support of the WCO in Fall 2021. In addition, the integrity action-planning activities were informed by the findings of the Customs Integrity Perception Survey (CIPS) that was carried out among Customs employees and private sector stakeholders in Summer 2021. These important consecutive capacity building activities allowed for the mapping of the current Customs’ integrity situation and areas for improvement, as well as support further calibration of related projects on trade facilitation.

Mission activities included field visits to the Customs offices of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Port of Manila and the Customs Operations Center, as well as a number of meetings with external stakeholders. Action-planning exercises also contained a review of the current Customs strategies, including the BoC’ 10-Point Priority Program. The BoC progressed with the development of a Comprehensive Customs Integrity Development and Anti-Corruption Action Plan. The proposed draft follows the structure of the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration on Good Governance and Integrity in Customs and includes over 60 practical actions with concrete outputs and outcomes.     

The importance that BoC renders to integrity as a cornerstone of successful and sustainable Customs and trade facilitation reform and modernization initiatives was illustrated by the fact that the discussions on the draft action plan were (virtually) attended by more than 50 participants composed of BoC’s top management and executive team, including  Mr. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs, the Assistant/Deputy Commissioners, Service Directors and District Collectors. During the closing session on 6 May, Mr. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, BoC Commissioner, welcomed the key strategic outcomes and ensured commitment on the follow-up and implementation of the action plan. The WCO is looking forward to continue its strategic multi-year partnership under the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme and with support of the ‘Accelerate Trade Facilitation’ programme.

For more information on the ‘Accelerate Trade Facilitation’ Programme, please, see here or contact TFAPartnerships@wcoomd.org.