"Corruption at the agency is a hopeless case."
The Bureau of Customs missed its target collections in 2019 and promised to recoup this year, but the downtrend continued last January.
BOC officials blamed the dismal performance for the first month of the year on the Taal Volcano eruption.
Customs insiders could not yet tell how much the 2019 novel coronavirus would affect the BOC’s revenue collection for the rest of the year. I would say we should also be extra careful with the massive imported goods from China.
I am sure that BOC Comm. Leonardo Guerrero knows that the persistent corruption among BOC officials accounts for the agency’s continued losses.
While the Commissioner is keeping watch to prevent any more illegal drugs from being smuggled into the country through airports and seaports, some BOC officials are keeping busy with their lucrative racket.
He should keep an eye on the Auction and Cargo Disposal Division which auctions off confiscated contrabands to their cohorts through rigged bidding, said my reliable informants.
“The supposed auction is just a moro-moro. It’s really a pre-arranged bidding where the syndicate is sure to win,” said my spy in BOC.
It may be unknown to Guerrero that a certain alias “GM” runs this illicit “ninja” operations at the ACDD. The whole thing, however, is in fact an open secret among the rank and file in Aduana.
Aside from the fake bidding, another modus that this henchman GM uses is the “condemnation” wherein contrabands that are supposed to be auctioned, are “condemned” or declared unfit for human consumption or utilization, including “ukay-ukay,” fruits, vegetables, among others.
But instead of discarding the condemned cargoes, GM’s group actually recycles them—selling them to ready buyers.
The BOC ninjas headed by this hotshot GM in cahoots with crooked middle-level BOC officials and Customs officers rake millions of pesos day in and day out, according to my informant.
So, these clandestine operations must be part of the reason why the good Commissioner fell short by more than P30 billion of BOC’s target collections, and P2 billion shy of last January’s supposed target revenues.
The collections of BOC, as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, make up the bulk of the country’s revenues, with other collections coming from the Bureau of the Treasury.
The government must operate on a deficit if its expenses cannot be covered by its ability to sufficiently generate revenue.
Corruption at the BOC is a hopeless case. No man can put an end to it because that is the culture and it is there to stay.