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BOC report impresses finance chief

Value of confiscated goods on all-time high at P31.5 billion thus far

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THE Bureau of Customs under Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio got the attention of Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno after reporting on the many positive gains of the agency since he assumed office last February 10, 2023.

During the regular weekly meeting with the Finance Chief last September 21, 2023, Rubio, along with other key BOC officials, presented a comprehensive update on the agency’s performance thus far under his watch.

Rubio informed Diokno that as of September 19, 2023, the BOC had already turned in P47.2 billion in actual cash collection with at least one week to go before the end of the month.

Data from the BOC’s Financial Management showed that total revenue collection from January up to the third week of September had already reached P632.269 billion, which is P13.566 billion or 2.19 percent higher compared to its assigned target of P618.703 billion.

With nearly 69 percent of its annual target already collected, the agency remains confident that it can achieve, if not surpass, its assigned revenue target of P901.3 billion for this year.

Rubio also informed Diokno that they have partnered with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to curb the illicit flow of cigarettes between the Philippines and Malaysia. This initiative, Rubio said, aims to bolster their cooperation in monitoring and combating the illicit cigarette trade and would be among their topics of discussion during the ASEAN Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG) meeting scheduled for next month.

Biggest seizures to date

In the combat against smuggling, Rubio said that mainly thru the Intelligence Group headed by Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy, the retired and bemedaled Philippine Army 2-star general, the BOC initiated 717 successful seizure operations and apprehensions resulting to the confiscation of assorted smuggled goods valued at P31.55 billion.

The figure is already more than P7 billion higher compared to the total amount of more than P24 billion in smuggled goods seized by the BOC last year.

On the fuel marking program (FMP) supervised by the Enforcement Group under Deputy Commissioner Teddy Raval, Rubio also said that as of September 14, 2023, P749.53 billion worth of fuel had been marked from a total of 13.39 billion liters of fuel that passed thru the FMP since the start of year.

The customs chief also noted that fuel marking has registered an increase of 274.63 million liters compared to the same period last year.

Rubio also bared that they have already coordinated with the Department of Agriculture (DA) chaired by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the transfer to the department of some 4,000 metric tons of refined sugar from Thailand worth P240 million that was seized by the agency at the Port of Batangas last January 13, 2023 (see also Pinoy Exposé, January 17, 2023).

Rubio added they are also seeking clearance from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) for the speedy disposal of other containerized shipments of sugar thru public auction that are now staying at the Port of Subic and at the Manila International Container Port.

In a visit to Zamboanga City last September 19, 2023 to distribute the smuggled rice confiscated by the BOC, Pres. Marcos himself cited the success of the agency’s anti-smuggling campaign and its “consistent investigation and inspection of warehouses suspected of storing smuggled rice,” as he also highlighted the bureau’s “pivotal role” in the campaign against illicit trade.

A total of 42,180 sacks of rice worth ₱42 million that landed at the Port of Zamboanga were finally forfeited by the agency early this month after the still unnamed consignee failed to produce proof of its legal importation after a lapse of nearly 4 months (see link to the story here).

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