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No more ‘pasalubong’, ‘tara’ in BoC – Lapeña

By: Betheena Kae Unite

New Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña aims to end the culture of “pasalubong” and “tara” in the Bureau of Customs (BoC) as he assumed its top post yesterday.

“The marching order given to me by President Rodrigo Duterte is to stop corruption and increase revenue collection,” Lapeña said as he spoke before the Customs employees during the turn-over ceremony.

“My top priority – and it should be clear to everyone – is to do away with the culture of ‘pasalubong’ and ‘tara.’ Strictly no gift and no take policy,” the new Customs chief added.

The former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director further said he will bring to the bureau the policy he implemented in PDEA to stop corruption.

“Similar to what I did wih PDEA, I will implement a ‘one-strike policy’ to boost internal cleansing, which of course, shall be supported by intensified counter intelligence efforts,” Lapeña said.

He said he will establish a counter-intelligence efforts inside and outside the Customs bureau.

Lapeña said as he assumed office he intends to make changes and not judgments on the bureau.

“I intend to give each of you a clean slate, so we can move forward. Just do your work. Prove your worth, and I will back you up,” Lapeña said.

“But once I receive reports of your involvement with corrupt practices and such reports are validated, I will not think twice. Pasensiyahan tayo,” the commissioner added.

He noted that once someone in the bureau was caught doing corrupt activities, he will be relieved from his post.

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