Byline: Romeo V. Pefianco
AT least four or five government agencies with regulatory powers have something or all things in common: Knowing all the fixers, illegal but small operators, and smugglers within reach of their long arms.
First things first. Last week, 15 40-foot containers with frozen meat, mostly chicken legs, were found by Customs personnel abandoned by consignees. The shipment was worth R22 M.
Restaurants in Metro Manila that serve steamed chicken feet (called "Adidas" by their customers) will probably wait for future shipments to slip up.
The first or next step to take is to condemn the shipment and dispose of it without the smallest danger to the people's health -- meaning us including the Customs personnel -- at government expense.
The MB report on the subject (p. 12, June 9) did not state if the importers -- all known to the Customs and agriculture agency's inspectors -- would face sanctions for any wrongdoing.
Fixers are permanent as fixtures
As the saying goes: Oh, forget it! Don't bother!
The immigration agency again reminded employees last week against dealing in any manner with fixers within their "own area of responsibility" a term used by weathermen while watching an approaching storm/depression.
Fixers are as permanent as faucets, office desks, airconditioners, etc. in any government office where graft finds a natural and comfortable habitat. Fixers can be found in such agencies as Customs office, BIR, immigration agency, the office dealing with illegal loggers, etc.
They are not new in the above agencies as the source of their livelihood and provider of vice. As most analysts view it: Fixers are like civil servants who love fixing as a long-term and gainful career. Sometimes they occupy a permanent desk and corner in the office of their choice and are on first-name intimacy with division chiefs, supervisors and junior officials with a firm hot-line to the "top."
Years ago, I shook hands with a Customs "supervisor" as friends called him. …