Military generals are project managers in “reboot the customs” project but they may go- new BOC Davao collector Aradanas

feb 26, 2014

Military generals have been assigned as project managers in the Bureau of Customs as part of the reform mechanism in the ongoing “reboot the customs” project of President Aquino administration.

“Military officers are part of the ORAM mechanism.They will stay until the ORAM AND CPRO mechanisms are no longer needed to exist. By then they maybe given an option to continue in BOC or say- I have enough and go back where I come from,” said retired brigadier general Ernesto Aradanas who assumed office Feb. 3 to lead the Port of Davao.


Asked if he is already BOC Davao’s regular district collector, he replied “yes and no” adding that he is part of the ORAM (Office of Revenue Agency Modernization) team assigned to BOC.

Malacanang officially described as “a strategy and change management unit of the DOF for the revenue generating agencies such as the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)”.

Aradanas is the fifth district collector designated in eight months’ time when the BOC became shaky due to reform moves that triggered personnel transfers and reshuffles following the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) where the BOC was castigated for the continued rampant smuggling happening in the country’s ports.

He is among of the at least eight retired military and police generals who took over the plum posts of BOC officials who were transferred to the so-called “freezer” – the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO) under the Dept. of Finance.

Aradanas told reporters in a press conference that in December last year he was asked by “some people in BOC if I can help (BOC). In January he joined DOF from his post as the executive vice president of the National Defense College.

He has a stint serving in various capacities as a military officer in Jolo, Sulu, and the provinces of Surigao, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.

He was the 603rd brigade commander of the Phil. Army based in Calamansig, Sultan Kudarat before he joined the National Defense College (NDC).

Prior his NDC’s stint starting in 2010, Aradanas was with the Strategic Studies Division in Camp Aguinaldo.

Before reporters, he vowed that in Davao Port’s jurisdiction which extends to the sub-ports in General Santos, Parang, Maguindanao and Mati, Davao Oriental he would implement a no-smuggling, no-fixer, no haosiao broker, no tara policy.

Tara refers to the bribe money given to Customs officials and personnel by those who wanted to make undue external interventions to BOC.

“We do not tolerate smuggling in this port and we will endeavour to cub misdeclarations, which is technical smuggling also, while increasing valuations in accordance to the approved reference values. We will perform our function to ultimately curb illicit trade and all forms of Customs fraud. We intend to make the Port of Davao as one of the best Ports in the country,” Aradanas declared.

Before reporters, he swore  that in the two weeks’ time since he assumed office he came to know that “there are more good people” in his port of assignment that reflects “beyond perception” on the bureau being seen as one of the most corrupt in the government.

On Monday, Aradanas celebrated his birthday at the BOC Davao grounds tendering a simple boodle fight dinner for his personnel. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)


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