During the 3rd day of the National Trade Facilitation Workshop on April 4-6, 2022, which was co-organized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in cooperation with the ARISE Plus Philippines Project, discussions with the Philippine Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) and private stakeholders on the implementation of the Integrated Risk Management (IRM) were conducted.
This is in response to the clamor of the trading community for greater transparency and a holistic approach to implementing risk management, and the need for BOC to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The discussions on the value proposition of integrated risk management (IRM) in adopting a compliance measurement strategy, and supporting BOC’s risk targeting and profiling activities were led by Mr. Dennis C. Pantastico, National Consultant from the ARISE Plus Philippines Project through the International Trade Center (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN). Strategies for coordinated intervention and leveraging the use of modern technology through master data management were also covered during the IRM session. This allowed the participants to gain a deeper understanding of an appropriate IRM design framework anchored on access to data and inter-agency information sharing that will proactively identify and treat threats, greater transparency, and enhance BOC and TRGAs governance standards.
Participants from both public and private sectors actively shared their views on how to improve the traditional risk and governance strategies to a program that integrates end-to-end cargo clearance, thereby allowing intelligence sharing with TRGAs, and creating feedback mechanisms to avoid multiple examinations.
Furthermore, private sector representatives shared their current challenges and expressed their full support for the implementation of an Integrated Risk Management Framework that is dynamic and transparent. They suggested that there should be single storage of truth in addressing risks of all relevant border agencies that deliver realities rather than paper-based commitments, and risk assessment outcomes and agreed benefits are crafted in a meaningful way that provides tangibility and practical realities.
During the session, the effectiveness of the partnership of BOC, DTI-STMO, and several Investment Promotion Agencies was recognized in establishing an effective coordination and cooperation mechanism toward trade facilitation, optimizing risk information sharing, and reducing the complexity of doing business with legitimate and compliant strategic goods exporters.
Noting BOC’s strong adherence to simplifying, harmonizing, and aligning Customs procedures with international best practices, Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, Assistant Commissioner of the BOC Post-Clearance Audit Group (PCAG), and Chairman of the BOC Project Team for Strengthened Trade Facilitation Capacity Building challenged the participants in his closing remarks to continue digitizing their processes, strategically deal with uncertainties, capitalize on data analytics, and increase the involvement of the economic operators to ensure proactive and better decisions in mitigating risks.