Coast Guard set to deploy 115 personnel to Customs

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is set to deploy around 115 personnel to take over positions at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte decided to place the agency under military control due to the issue of the multi-billion shabu that slipped into the country.

The PCG is still waiting for an official request from the BOC to formalize the deployment, according to spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo.

“Meron kaming mga 115 personnel na binigyan ng notice to prepare. Mga graduates ng Customs Administration. Pero hinihintay pa namin yung formal request (We have 115 personnel that were given notices to prepare. They are graduates of Customs Administration. We are still waiting for the formal request,” Balilo said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.

The PCG, he said, is yet to determine what positions will be filled up by its personnel.

In his speech over the weekend, Duterte said the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be temporarily taking over the operations of the BOC amid a probe into the drug smuggling controversy.

“They will be replaced, all of them, by military men. It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating, in the meantime, while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” Duterte said.

The President has also ordered that all Customs employees are on floating status and will be required to report directly to the Office of the President.

Duterte has appointed Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Rey Leonardo Guerrero as BOC chief replacing Isidro Lapena who was transferred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Philippine News Agency