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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        4  June 2011

Aquino to revamp Customs

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A revamp is set to sweep the Bureau of Customs (BOC) "very soon" with President Aquino declaring his wish for a leadership that "is knowledgeable about the system but untainted."

"You will get that (revamp) not that soon, but very soon, once we finish it. That is something, that is a perpetual topic between the secretary of finance (Cesar Purisima) and myself," Aquino told reporters here on Wednesday.

At the Department of Transportation and Communications, three undersecretaries have also tendered their resignations alongside DOTC Secretary Jose de Jesus, who has quit effective July 1.

Aquino concluded his two-day official visit in Brunei last Thursday.

When asked if Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez is on the way out, Aquino replied: "Kaya nga sabi ko (That's why I said there's need for) evaluation. Then we will vet. That function is one of the hardest positions to fill."

The President revealed his revamp plans for the BOC as De Jesus confirmed his resignation. Earlier in Davao City, Aquino voiced his dissatisfaction over the BOC's performance in the wake of the discovery of questionable activities in Mindanao, particularly those involving Filipino-American Lynard Allan Bigcas.

"You'd want to get somebody who is saintly but not innocent," Aquino said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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