The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the US Embassy in Manila are exploring possible areas of cooperation to intensify border control and safeguard national security through capacity and skills building.
In a statement, the BOC said Customs and US Embassy officials met recently regarding “potential areas of cooperation and possible means of strengthening the relationship” between the two agencies.
The BOC added that officials from both parties discussed various topics that included cooperation opportunities in law enforcement, maritime operations, investigations, capacity building and advanced technology implementation.
The meeting also discussed the possible provision of technical expertise and skills building to be extended by the US Embassy to the BOC’s Enforcement and Security Service (BOC-ESS).
“This consultative meeting represents a significant step forward in establishing a strong collaboration between the BoC and the Embassy of the United States of America. Both parties are committed to leveraging their collective expertise and resources to ensure more robust customs operations and safeguard national security,” the bureau said in a statement on Monday.
The BOC said it aims to “achieve excellence in securing and protecting customs authority across the border” by collaborating with the US Embassy.
The BOC said it was represented by Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio, Customs Deputy Commissioner Teddy Raval and the heads of the ESS, the Financial Management Office, the External Affairs Office and the Interim Training Development Division. The US Embassy, on the other hand, was represented in the meeting by Jason Perez, a member of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group and Patrick Braun, chief of the Information Support Team.
“The establishment of a strong collaboration between the BOC and the US Embassy will undoubtedly enhance the capabilities and technical know-how of BOC personnel. This will create opportunities to intensify border protection and combat smuggling further,” Rubio was quoted in a statement as saying.