The Bureau of Customs has confiscated from January to October this year some P12.92 billion worth of smuggled goods, most of which were illegal drugs plus counterfeit goods, cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said they were able to foil the entry of shabu shipments worth P2.96 billion in three separate incidents, while other illegal substances worth P151.74 million were also seized over the January-October period.
Meanwhile, Customs has destroyed 20 tons of smuggled and expired food products and medicines and dilapidated computer parts in an effort to de-congest the storage facilities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Port of NAIA Customs district collector Carmelita Talusan said the proceedings were held in Trece Martires, Cavite, on Thursday and were in line with the commissioner’s order to clear the storage facilities of abandoned and illegally shipped items.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Guerrero said the bulk of the goods seized as of Oct. 24 this year were mostly counterfeit products worth P7.81 billion, and which were intercepted in 14 separate incidents in various ports.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products valued at P1.69 billion were also confiscated, along with P107.59 million worth of agricultural products, Guerrero reported during a recent Department of Finance Executive Committee meeting.
The other seized goods were vehicles and accessories worth P67.25 million; used clothing valued at P54.66 million; steel products, P12.61 million; general merchandise valued at P9.39 million; and other products, P58.20 million.
Guerrero said that as of October this year, Customs had also filed 20 cases against illegal operations that impeded the bureau’s revenue collections and revoked the accreditation of 160 importers and 20 brokers in line with its anti-corruption campaign.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue had also stepped up its drive to improve tax administration, with the temporary closure of 567 establishments under its Oplan Kandado program from January to September 2019, BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa reported during the same Execom meeting.
Guballa said that represented a 346.45-percent increase over the 127 closures the bureau had implemented in the previous year.
As a result, the BIR was able to collect P798.7 million in taxes from the delinquent establishments over the January-October 2019 period, Guballa said.
The amount was P444.9 million or 125.75 percent higher than the previous year’s collections of P353.8 million under the Oplan Kandado program. With Joel E. Zurbano