MANILA-- Reforms will be difficult to implement unless Bureau of Customs' (BOC) abolishes the so-called 3 o'clock habit, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.
Various reports described the "3 o'clock habit" as an alleged weekly meeting or practice among employees and importers of the BOC where bribes are given and split up.
Lacson made this remark a day after the Senate hearing on the PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment from China which was seized last May in Valenzuela.
During the hearing, senators alleged that there was corruption and incompetence among BOC officials and employees. A second hearing is scheduled on August 8 (Tuesday).
The House of Representatives (HOR) is currently holding its own hearing on the same issue.
Ang unang tinatanong ko, nabuwag na ba ang Friday 3 o'clock habit? Hanggang di nawawala ang 3 o'clock habit Friday afternoon, walang reporma, Lacson said in a radio interview.
(One of the first questions I asked, has the Friday 3 o'clock habit been abolished? Unless the 3 o'clock habit every Friday afternoon is abolished, there won't be any reforms.)
He described the existence of the weekly habit as institutionalized corruption.
Source: Philippine News Agency