To aid the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in its goal to be more efficient in the correct assessment and collection of customs duties and taxes thus enabling the bureau to meet its target, Senator Dick Gordon has initiated the approval for additional budget for the BOC’s procurement of additional X-ray machines.
During one of the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling through the BOC, Gordon, committee chair, was able to determine that the bureau needed additional X-ray machines to improve its operations.
The veteran legislator committed to support in the budget deliberation the BOC’s request for P1.3-billion additional budget for the procurement of additional X-ray machines to ensure the speedy inspection of all shipments entering the country’s ports.
Hence during the deliberation of the BOC’s budget, the seasoned legislator urged his colleagues that in order to help the BOC meet its target, the Senate should give the bureau the necessary resources. “Ngayon, natutuwa ako na kinokolekta ninyo na yung buwis on the basis of proper valuation, walang green lane. Kaya ako ang disposisyon ko, katulad nung kay Senator Loren Legarda, is bigyan kayo ng gamit, bigyan kayo ng tamang kakailanganin ninyo,” the senator from Olongapo and Zambales said.
Gordon asked the BOC officials if the procurement of additional X-ray machines would ensure that the inspection of shipments would be expedited for faster movement of goods.
“Kung makukuha niyo ba yung additional X-rays, mabilis po ba? No congestions? So if you have more X-rays, ergo bibilis ang proseso, matutuwa ang mga negosyante, lalaki ang collection?” he said, adding that the United States was able to grow its Navy, its Army and pay off its debts through the collections of their Bureau of Customs.
For his part, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena assured that not only will the additional X-ray machines expedite the inspection process, but it will also help eliminate the “tara” system in the bureau.
The BOC saw improved collection performance in 2006 when the use of X-ray machines in the bureau was first implemented.
Meanwhile, Senator Legarda, head of the Senate Finance Committee, supported Gordon’s initiative in recommending the approval of the P1.5-billion additional appropriations for the BOC – P1.3-billion for additional X-ray machines and P178-million for additional computers.