BOC urged to implement computerization project to reduce smuggling

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 10) — Incidents of smuggling in the country will decrease if the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will finally use its computerized processing system, a company said Sunday.

In 2015, joint venture Omniprime Marketing Inc. and Intrasoft International (OMI-Intrasoft JV) won the bidding for the provision of Integrated Enhanced Customs Processing System (IECPS), along with the Philippine National Single Window 2 project. The project is worth ₱650 million.

The IECPS is made up of two combined computer applications required for ASEAN integration.

Based on the 2005 ASEAN single window agreement, the joint venture project aims to develop a "seamless, paperless, and touchless" processing system in BOC transactions nationwide, which will pave the way for "unified data submission and decision-making point" for the agency. The project can also increase the BOC tax collection by 30% to 50%.

However, instead of implementing the computerized processing system, which will cost ₱650 million, the BOC applied for a ₱4-billion loan from the World Bank for a new bidding of the project, said Anabelle Arcilla, representative of OMI-Intrasoft JV.

The Manila Regional Trial Court has also issued a writ of execution for the project. But for nearly nine years, the firm said there has been a pushback on the implementation of the project.

"Implementation na lang ang pinag-uusapan. Because of the fact that until now the writ of execution has not yet been implemented, meron pong pending motion for contempt against sa incumbent commissioner ng customs," said Alfredo Villamor, counsel for OMI-Intrasoft JV.

[Translation: Implementation is the only thing we're talking about. Because of the fact that until now the writ of execution has not yet been implemented, there is a pending motion for contempt against the incumbent commissioner of customs.]

CNN Philippines has reached out to the BOC regarding the matter, but it has yet to comment on the issue.