In line with President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr., order to digitalize governmental transactions, the Bureau of Customs (BOC), has moved to its digitalize procedures and processes “to bring services at par with regional and global standards.”

President BBM has been harping about digitalization of government transactions as a legacy of his administration, here and in international Fora abroad.

The Philippines, through the BOC will participate in the cross-border exchange of the electronic phytosanitary certificate (e-phyto) as an approach to a better trade facilitation in the ASEAN region. In fact the BOC and the Department of Agriculture (DA), take credit for the implementation of the e-phyto certificate among ASEAN member countries, via the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) System. For the Philippines, the BOC E-Phyto Management Portal issued by the DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) – considered as the country’s National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) as well as those issued by the respective NPPOs of exporting countries.

Specifically, the BOC and DA “will conduct data and process mapping covering both incoming and outgoing e-phyto messages with ASEAN, as well as system alignment with other modes of exchange the DA-BPI is currently implementing.”

Indeed, BOC believes that the cross-border exchange of the e-phyto certificate would reduce document falsification, increase transparency and predictability in agri-food trade, and facilitate faster Customs clearance.

It is nice to tap shoulders to recognize a government agency introducing new ideas, strategies to improve the methodologies, processes or at least modifications to existing, may be obsolete in order to improve, hasten delivery of services, cutting red-tapes, checking on corrupt practices, etc. The ‘controversial’ perennially tagged as one leading corruption-laden BOC has shown its image-building move when, together with the DA, kicked-off the e-phyto certificate among ASEAN countries.
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