Diokno throws support behind Rubio

The Department of Finance (DOF) has thrown its full support behind Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio, tasking the newly installed chief of the government’s second largest tax agency to prioritize digitalization.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said modernizing the Bureau of 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.

"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 a ceremonial turnover, Monday, Feb. 13.

“I am confident that Commissioner Rubio will take on this mission with utmost commitment, integrity, and excellence,” he added.

According to Diokno, 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.

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.

On Monday, Rubio formally assumed as Customs commissioner in simple turnover rites at the BOC headquarters in Port Ares, Manila, replacing Yogi Filemon Ruiz.

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.

"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," Rubio said.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Ruiz assured Rubio of “a seamless transition.”

“As we dedicate this day to a change of leadership, I trust that everyone here welcomes Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio with the same or extra commitment and dedication that you have provided me,” the outgoing BOC chief said.

“I bid my support to the new Customs Commissioner a seamless transition, just like what then Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero did for me,” 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,” he concluded.