Press Releases

Salceda cites progress in BOC anti-oil smuggling efforts; wants updates on efforts against smuggling through ecozones, illicit trade in cigarettes and food

November 15th, 2021

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) lauded the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for complying with the committee’s requests to intensify the fight against smuggling in petroleum products, and called on the agency to strengthen enforcement efforts further “as when commodity prices increase, the incentive to smuggle also increases.”

“I am thankful for the Bureau of Customs for complying with this committee’s request on February 2021 to strengthen the country’s anti-smuggling efforts on petroleum. I noted earlier this year that the gap between exports to the country and imports of the country is narrowing, a sign that smuggling efforts are getting more effective. I urge the BOC to go harder at smuggling as oil price increases,” Salceda said.

Salceda added that “anti-smuggling efforts will also reduce foregone revenues from the proposed fuel excise tax suspension,” which Salceda also authored as House Bill No. 10488.

The BOC reported that it has undertaken various measures, including Issuance of a new customs memorandum requiring more information in declaring goods, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between BOC and DOE on Data Sharing particularly on prior Oil Import Advise, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Joint Maritime Patrols using the active vessels of the PCG, procuring 20 Patrol Boats for exclusive BOC Maritime Patrol, and the continued implementation of the fuel marking program.

“Most of the smuggling likely happens in private ports. So, it is crucial that we work with the PCG. I also laud strengthening the BOC Maritime Patrol,” Salceda said.

“Moving forward, I would like the BOC to organize the Task Force Anti-Oil Smuggling that we requested the BOC to organize on February this year. I will also remind Secretary Dominguez.”

Updates on ecozone, tobacco, and food smuggling sought

Salceda also requested the BOC to update the Committee on Ways and Means on the efforts that the tax panel urged the Bureau to take earlier this year, on ecozone smuggling, tobacco illicit trade, and food smuggling.

“May I also request for updates on your work with PEZA in preventing the use of ecozones as conduits for smuggling? Finally, may I request for updates on progress with the Bureau of Animal Industry and Bureau of Plant Industry on the streamlining of processes in customs inspection of meat and plant products?”

“These are matters that this Committee discussed with you earlier this year, so I hope you could conduct a similar briefing on these matters in the coming weeks,” Salceda said.

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