With illegal drugs, particularly shabu, and various smuggled commodities still slipping past the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Senator Dick Gordon has proposed changes in the bureau’s policy to address the unabated entry of smuggled shipments.
“Sinabi namin noon na P900 billion ang nawawala sa gobyerno dahil sa uncollected duties and taxes. There has been a marked improvement in the BOC’s collections pero may mga nakakalusot pa din. Nakaka-alarma na tons of shabu are entering the country right through the guardian of our ports. This is especially so when there is a furor because people are killed for mere sachets of shabu. And there is also an ongoing war on drugs,” Gordon said during the reopening of the Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the latest smuggling of shabu in the BOC.
The seasoned legislator proposed policy changes that the BOC could implement to stop smuggling. He said all consignees should be registered to stop the practices of “consignees-for-hire” or “consignees-on-record” which only enable syndicates to bring in smuggled shipments.
“Hindi pwedeng maluwag tayo sa mga katulad nitong SMYD na hindi niya kilala pero bibigyan siya ng pera, pipirma na sya agad at ilalabas nila ang kargamento. Dun sa unang part ng investigation na ito, mayroong EMT Trading na ginagamit din para maglabas ng mga shipments. Di ba dapat ang consignee, tsine-check kung talagang may bodega sila o hindi lang sila hole in the wall? Dapat tsine-check, may monitoring kayo sa mga consignees,” the seasoned lawmaker noted.
The Blue Ribbon Committee chairman also suggested that the BOC should ensure that consignees have registered warehouses and trucking companies doing business with consignees should be duly-registered with the BOC. He added the BOC should conduct regular inspections on warehouses since this could also help, amid the current rice crisis, ensure that there would be no hoarding.
“The BOC should conduct regular inspections on warehouses since this could also help, amid the current rice crisis, ensure that there would be no hoarding.”
“Lahat ba ng mga truck diyan rehistrado? Yung mga warehouse ba rehistrado? Ngayon ang bigas kinakapos. Di ba dapat lahat ng maglalabas ng bigas, alam natin kung saan ang bodega nila at ini-inspection regularly? Kung may dumating na bigas diyan, dapat titingnan kung may itinatago o hinihintay na tumaas ang presyo,” the senator explained.
He also wanted to reduce the period allotted by the BOC before declaring as abandoned shipments that are stacked in the BOC’s container yards. He said this would not only decongest the Port of Manila, but it would also snatch the opportunity for corruption and make the country attractive to foreign investors.
“Reduce the period allotted by the BOC before declaring as abandoned shipments that are stacked in the BOC’s container yards. This would not only decongest the Port of Manila, but it would also snatch the opportunity for corruption and make the country attractive to foreign investors.”
“Pag matagal, pwede pang pagsimulan ng corruption. Dapat mabilis lumabas ang kargamento para walang magdududa na may nanghiningi. Kapag hindi kinukuha that means tinitingnan pa nila kung may makakausap sila. Buksan na agad para malaman,” Gordon explained.
“Pag matagal may demurrage. They charge extra pag nagtagal ang barko dahil congested ang ports. That’s bad for business! Hindi tayo attractive sa foreign investors dahil ang tagal magpalabas ng kargamento. Bilisan niyo yan, kailangan lumakad ang negosyo ng Pilipinas,” he concluded.