BOC ‘militarization’ over as civilian Ruiz assumes top post

BOC ‘militarization’ over as civilian Ruiz assumes top post

By Junex Doronio
July 25, 2022

MANILA — Stakeholders and insiders at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday heaved a sigh of relief as what they call “militarization” is seemingly over as a civilian career officer in the person of Yogi Filemon Ruiz formally assumed office as BOC Acting Commissioner.

This was the prevailing sentiment aired by Customs insiders following the turnover ceremony at the BOC head office in Port Area in this capital city.

On July 20, Ruiz took his oath as BOC Acting Commissioner before President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at the Malacañan Palace ending speculations that another military official will again head the revenue collecting agency.

For six long years, the BOC looked “militarized” as then-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte kept on appointing military officials — from former military rebel leader Marines Capt. Nicanor Faeldon to retired Army general Rey Leonardo “Jagger” Guerrero — as Customs chief.

Before his designation as Customs chief, Ruiz was the head of the Enforcement & Security Service (ESS) of the BOC for almost five years since 2017.

As ESS Director, he spearheaded several enforcement projects and handled the operations which greatly contributed to the intensified anti-smuggling campaign of BOC.

Ruiz also served the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 7 as its Regional Director where he led numerous drug interdiction efforts.

In his speech during the turnover ceremony, Ruiz presented his seven priority programs.

They are the following: zero tolerance for drug smugglers; curb gun smuggling; eliminate agricultural smuggling; increase revenue generation; fully digitalize Customs processes; increase employee morale; eradicate corruption. (ai/mtvn)

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