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BOC piles up anti-smuggling, revenue success under Rubio

Biggest fake goods seizure thus far; February target surpassed

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BUREAU of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio continues to prove that the trust and confidence given to him by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to lead the country’s second highest revenue generating agency are not in vain after the BOC registered surplus collection in February and making its biggest seizure thus far this year of fake goods valued at more than P10 billion.

Based on official data, the BOC collected P63.015 billion for February, about P1.278 billion above its assigned target of P61.827 billion.

Year-on-year, the collection is higher by P3.583 billion from its actual collection of P59.433 billion for the same month last year.

For the first two months of the year, the surplus was upped by P8.641 billion from its actual target of P124.783 billion as the agency actually collected P133.380 billion.

“We will continue to innovate and implement sustainable reforms to boost the bureau’s collection efficiency, which will contribute to the expansion and recovery of our national economy,” says the customs chief in a brief statement to the public.

Surpassing the bureau’s collection target of P765.59 billion target for 2023 and clamping hard on smuggling are among the commitments of Comm. Rubio after being appointed to the top customs post by Pres. Marcos Jr (see also Pinoy Exposé, February 11, 2023).

And with the full support of his deputies, especially Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence (DCI) Juvymax Uy, the BOC has chalked up impressive gains on its anti-smuggling, including the seizure of fake products valued at more than P10 billion last February 28, 2023, during an operation in Binondo, Manila. This would be the BOC’s biggest seizure of suspected smuggled goods for the year.

MICP-CIIS chief, Alvin Enciso, inspects some of the fake products his team found inside a warehouse in Binondo, Manila, February 28, 2023. Valued at P10 billion, the seizure is the biggest thus far this year by the BOC under Comm. Bienvenido Rubio (photo credit: BOC-PIAD).

A week earlier, during another operation in Pasay City, the CIIS (Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service), the operating arm of the Intelligence Group (IG), also confiscated counterfeit goods worth P1.5 billion (see also Pinoy Exposé, February 22, 2023).

Over at the Port of Subic on March 2, 2023, Comm. Rubio was on hand in inspecting some P150 million worth of smuggled refined sugar loaded on 58 container vans from Thailand that was earlier placed under ‘Pre-Lodgment Control Order’ (PLCO) by district collector Maritess Martin.

Two container vans declared as containing frozen ‘squid rings’ were also ordered seized after they were found to also contain assorted frozen meat products with the value placed at more than P40 million.

In the BASULTA area of Mindanao (Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi), the CIIS-IG, in partnership with other law enforcement groups and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), also announced on the same day their successful operation that resulted to the confiscation of smuggled cigarettes worth P1.425 billion that were found inside a warehouse at Sitio Buotan, Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu.

MICP-CIIS chief, Alvin Enciso armed with a ‘LOA’ (letter of authority) signed by the customs chief, whisked himself to Sulu to personally supervise the operation on instruction by Uy to ensure its success.

The BOC’s success in foiling smuggling attempts in Mindanao is bolstered by the long military experience of Uy in Mindanao and his superb intelligence network. Uy had previously served as chief of the highly-respected Intelligence Service Group (ISG) of the Philippine Army aside from taking command of various military units in Mindanao.

The aggregate value of the above operations conducted by the BOC has been placed at P11.615 billion, all in a span of less than a month since Rubio became customs chief.

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