Did Union President Admit Corrupt Practices at Bureau of Customs?

MANILA, Philippines- Bureau of Customs (BoC) Employees Association President Rommel Francisco came under fire after apparently admitting corrupt practices at the government agency during an interview with GMA 7.

Francisco made the controversial statement after being asked to comment on Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina’s order to install additional CCTV cameras to make transactions in the BoC free from corruption and red tape.

The Union president revealed that their group might stage a protest or file a legal case believing such move is a violation of their human rights.

“Bakit naman kami tututukan niyan? Wala bang violation sa karapatang pantao namin yan?” Francisco said.

(Why should they monitor us? Isn’t there violation of our human rights?)

Interestingly, Francisco argued that if the agency will raise their salaries and give them the right benefits, they wouldn’t do such acts.

“Subukan kaya nilang itaas yung sahod namin. Ibigay sa amin ang tamang benepisyo. Sa tingin ba nila gagawa pa kami ng ganoon?” Francisco added.

(Try raising our salary and giving us the appropriate benefits. Do they think we will still do such acts?)

Watch the interview.

To help combat corrupt activities within the agency, CCTV’s were set up near transaction windows and payment areas.

While Commissioner Lina agrees with raising the salaries of BoC employees, he stressed that the agency’s personnel have nothing to fear if they are not doing anything inappropriate.

“Bakit sila matatakot kung wala naman silang ginagawang hindi nararapat-dapat?”

(Why should they be afraid if they are not doing anything wrong?)

In 2015, the BoC was named the most corrupt agency based on a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. It received a negative 55%, which is equivalent to a very bad rating.

Lina earned the ire of the public after revealing his plan to conduct physical inspections on the balikbayan boxes of OFW last year. As a result, the BoC chief was forced to abort the plan.