Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has thrown his full support behind Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, tasking the newly installed chief of the government’s second largest tax agency to prioritize digitalization.
“Today, the Department of Finance is honored to welcome the appointment of Mr. Bienvenido Rubio as the new chief of the Bureau of Customs,” Diokno said in a speech delivered by Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin during the ceremonial turnover, Monday, Feb. 13.
“I am confident that Commissioner Rubio will take on this mission with utmost commitment, integrity, and excellence,” he added.
Diokno said modernizing Customs administration must be a key priority of Rubio, adding that digitalization will be a defining factor in the Marcos administration’s bid to achieve modern governance. “A digital customs administration allows the government to focus its resources in the identification of higher risk entities, while enhancing the ease of doing business,” Diokno told Rubio.
The finance chief also expects Rubio will bring in a fresh vision to the Customs bureau. “As we enter 2023, I trust that Commissioner Rubio will bring in a fresh vision and even loftier targets to move the Bureau closer to the goal of becoming a modern and world-class Customs agency that ranks among the best in the world,” he said.
Rubio is no stranger to customs administration after serving as director of the Port Operations Service of the Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group.
“Rest assured that the Department of Finance will continue to stand in full solidarity with the Bureau in catalyzing better facilitation of trade and investment in the country. Together, let us make our country proud through honest and selfless public service,” Diokno said.
In his speech, Rubio vowed to accomplish the President Marcos’ four directives: hit and surpass the revenue target, simplify and secure the facilitation of trade, curb smuggling of any form, and uplift the morale of the men and women of the Bureau.
Aligned with the Priority Programs of the President, Rubio said he would also push for good governance by implementing sustainable reforms, which include:
review and revision of policies and procedures by digitalizing all the BOC processes geared towards the President’s call for a transparent and efficient government,
enhancement of the competencies and integrity of personnel to ensure the delivery of quality public service,
foster a data-driven culture to ensure the utilization of data gathered in the decision-making at every level of the organization,
linking actions and heeding feedback and evaluation from partners and stakeholders.
“To my co-workers, it is time to make that pivotal change; to catapult the BOC as a forefront in revenue collection rather than corruption. To achieve that 180-degree turnabout, this aspiration requires each and everyone’s hard work, dedication, and cooperation,” said Rubio.
“Together, with all of you – my trusted colleagues, along with the guidance of the Secretary of Finance and the unending support of our stakeholders, I am certain that we will continue to flourish, united and stronger, toward implementing our priority programs for the Bureau of Customs,” he added.
Rubio started as a Special Agent 1, an entry-level position, under the Enforcement and Security Service 21 years ago and rose from the ranks. His years in service equipped him with an extensive experience in intelligence and operations work.
Rubio also conveyed his gratitude to President Marcos, DOF Secretary Diokno, and his colleagues for their assurance and support.
Meanwhile, in his speech, outgoing BOC chief Yogi Filemon Ruiz assured Rubio of “a seamless transition.” He added, “As the Bureau of Customs is set to be led by Commissioner Rubio, I am excited to see the dynamic guidance and proactive approach to which he will direct the Aduana to achieve its Vision to become among the world’s best Customs administration.”#