NEDA approves P5.5-B modernization project at Bureau of Customs

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) has approved the Philippine Customs Modernization Project.

File photo shows the state-of-the-art “Situation Room” at the head office of the Bureau of Customs in Port Area Manila. The command center allows top officials of the agency to monitor in near real-time the goods and revenues from all ports and revenue districts around the country

The project, which was approved on March 6, aims to get rid of corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by improving its efficiency and transparency by streamlining and upgrading systems, procedures, and operational activities with the use of information and communications technology (ICT) consistent with international standards.

The proposed project has a total cost of P5.5 billion, of which P4.61 billion will be funded through official development assistance.

“We hope to see improvements in the quality of government transactions and delivery of services. This project aims to simplify and harmonize customs procedures to conform to international standards and facilitate trade,” Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.

The project supports the implementation of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), and other internationally agreed customs standards with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Customs Organization.

Pernia said the project is in line with Chapters 5 and 15 of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, which puts importance on simplifying government transactions, enhancing trade facilitation, and strengthening linkages and connectivity, respectively.

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