MEMBERS of the press covering the Bureau of Customs (BoC) did not hide their dismay and surprise over the new, ‘5-day wait rule’ before they can get any comment or reaction from its officials, particularly from its new commissioner, retired Armed Forces chief, Rey Leonardo ‘Jagger’ Guerrero.
At the ‘Viber group, ‘BOC Beat,’ which was created and approved by Guerrero’s predecessor, Comm Isidro Lapeña, the media reacted negatively over the “new” regulation of Guerrero where they are first to write a formal letter for an interview with the customs chief or any other customs official.
Members of the press are also required to put in the specific date they want to conduct the interview and then wait for five days to know if their request is granted or not.
The bureau’s ‘Public Information and Assistance Division’ (PIAD) said the new regulation also covers ‘follow-up’ questions’ arising from their official press releases.
“Shocking naman yung bagong patakaran po ninyo.
“In the years na nagkokober ako ng BoC since (the year) 2000 ay ngayon lang po nagkaroon ng ganitong directive. What is your basis po kaya for the issuance of this order? We deserve your explanation po,” said veteran newshen, Gina Mape.
“Hindi po ba masyadong late na ang pagsagot sa issue kung aabutin ng limang araw ang request for interview,” asked, DZMM reporter, Ron Lopez.
For his part, Jun Veneracion of GMA-7, wondered to whom the media would talk to at the bureau for urgent issues that also need urgent reaction.
Johnson Manabat of DZMM, was more direct, asking if there is a “gag order” issued by Guerrero.