MANILA, Philippines–Admitting that corrupt personnel existed in the Bureau of Customs, the Palace on Monday said that “given the new set of deputy commissioners and a new set of leadership through Commissioner John Philip Sevilla, we will see some improvements in the Customs collection.”

“We know for a fact that there is corruption in the Bureau of Customs. That has never been hidden from public view. The President has made a very strong statement against those corrupt personnel in the Bureau of Customs during his State of the Nation (Address). Hence, we have to make sweeping reforms in the Bureau of Customs,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing, reacting to the reports that with the alleged ongoing “under the table deals” between  court examiners, appraisers, and other frontline personnel in the Customs and other big-time traders  its target revenue collection will not be achieved.

“Commissioner Sevilla has also mentioned in the light of that—under the table—is that there should be less human intervention and that’s why he is instituting a lot of mechanisms to make sure that the corruption in BOC would be minimized, if not, hopefully eliminated from that,” Lacierda said.

It’s a tall order for Commissioner Sevilla, Lacierda added.

Allegations of corruption in the Customs also prompted then commissioner Ruffy Biazon to quit his post earlier this month.