The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Collection District XII – Port of Davao, spearheaded by District Collector Atty. Erastus Sandino B. Austria, in cooperation with SGV, organized the first-ever Mindanao Customs Summit held in Davao City. About 200 participants from various economic sectors attended the summit with the theme “Empowering MSMEs through Seamless Automated BOC Services.” SGV delegates with District Collector Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria. (From left to right: Atty. James Gregorio, Atty. Jennyllette Dignadice, Atty. Erika Joy Ruiz, Ms. Frenzie Berenguel, Atty. Alden Patrick Labaguis, District Collector Erastus Sandino Austria, Atty, Stephanie Nava, Atty. Auresana B. Ines, Atty. Victor C. de Dios, Atty. Gracia Mae Beronilla, Atty. Charlene Joy Millares) SGV Tax Principals Atty. Stephanie “Steph” V. Nava (SVN), Atty. Victor C. de Dios (VCD), and Atty. Alden Patrick C. Labaguis (ACL), and Partner Atty. Auresana “Rhena” B. Ines (ABI) discussed best practices of successful business enterprises, which include proactive compliance with government rules and regulations. Rhena discussed the impact of transfer pricing considerations in customs-related issues, especially the importance of transfer pricing documentation in cases of import transactions between related parties and the implications of upward or downward adjustments on customs valuation. Steph, Victor and Alden emphasized that the BOC has the power to conduct compliance audits in two levels of assessments, namely: (1) the post-entry modification of duties and taxes and (2) the post-clearance audit of duties and taxes. They added that to do well on both audits, preventive rather than curative measures should be employed. SGV delegates with Hon. Bienvenido Rubio, Commissioner of Customs, District Collector Erastus Sandino B. Austria, and other customs officials The summit also featured representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Board of Investments (BOI), and the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program Office, who encouraged importers and exporters, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to avail themselves of the perks and benefits of the government accreditation programs (i.e., BOI accreditation, AEO accreditation, etc.) to enhance their business pursuits. A walkthrough of import and export procedures was also covered during the summit to guide importers and exporters in managing their transactions with the BOC following the recent automation of most BOC processes. The event was made possible through the efforts of the BOC organizing team led by Administrative Division Chief Nica Chynna Tan-Concepcion, and in close coordination with SGV Associate Director Atty. Gracia Mae A. Beronilla and Senior Associates, Atty. Charlene Joy W. Millares, and Atty. James E. Gregorio. This collaboration between the BOC and SGV is a manifestation that the dynamics between the BOC and its stakeholders in the private sector – including but not limited to importers and exporters, as well as SGV as a tax advisor – involves collaborations ultimately geared toward attaining business sustainability and economic growth through continuous compliance with laws, rules, regulations, and procedures.