News Release

BOC now 96.99 percent digitalized, says exec

Aligned with the transformative policy direction of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and the shift to digitalization of vital government services, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported on Saturday that its operation is now 96.99 percent digitalized.

In a new forum in Quezon City on Saturday, BOC Assistant Commissioner Philip Maronilla told reporters that 161 out of166, or 96.99 percent of their processes , are digitalized as of the first quarter of 2024.

“Now, the few that are yet to be digitalized are those processes that need inter-linkages with other government agencies. So, majority of them, we’re still waiting for the other agencies to upgrade their respective digital systems so that the Bureau of Customs can integrate,” Maronilla said.

The BOC official also stressed that not all of their systems were breached.

Maronilla also emphasized that the BOC is very careful with how they secure their data system as he emphasized that a lot of information that runs through it are not just sensitive, but are “propriety” in nature.

He also emphasized that they are now closely working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to determine the persons behind the hacking incident of their system.

He added that they are also looking into how the breach took place and how it entered into their system.

“The unit under the DICT in charge of identifying the breach that was conducted is now looking into it; an investigation has already been launched by the [National] Privacy Commission also and the Bureau of Customs to determine that lapses that were encountered, why this came about,” he said.

“Security measures were also – already implemented to avoid further breach and further abuse of any information that is contained in the Customs system … I just like to confirm that, yes indeed, there was a breach in some of the digital platforms of the Bureau of Customs,” he added.

Maronilla also noted that they are bow looking into the “human side” of the incident, which means potential hackers were able to access their system through the personal social media accounts of their employees who have access to their systems.

He said that there were several attempts to get into the system of their people through their social media pages.

“So, right now, ang ginawa namin i-total reset of the access of all our people. Gradually, we did that so that it won’t affect our operations para din po ma-secure na ulit iyong buong system natin,” the BOC official said.

Maronilla refused to further discuss the issue pending investigation of the DICT and the NPC, but he emphasized that they have enough security layers to protect the data privacy of their clients. |PND