BOC Pledges Cooperation with Other Government Agencies
In response to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s stern warning against agricultural smugglers and hoarders during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has declared its unwavering commitment to intensify proactive measures in the fight against agricultural smuggling.
Furthermore, the BOC assured the public that it would closely coordinate with other government agencies to curb illicit activities that are considered economic sabotage.
Enhancing Fraud Detection and Intelligence Capabilities
To bolster its efforts, the BOC announced its plans to enhance both pre-arrival and post-arrival technical targeting and fraud detection mechanisms for imported goods. This includes strategic investments in additional equipment and rigorous capacity building for personnel to further strengthen intelligence and enforcement capabilities.
The bureau firmly believes that these comprehensive measures will significantly contribute to curbing agricultural smuggling and safeguarding the nation’s economic interests.
Supporting Prosecution and Accountability
Among the bureau’s proactive measures is its commitment to support the prosecution of smugglers. The BOC expressed its determination to work closely and cooperatively with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to increase the conviction rate of smugglers, thus serving as a strong deterrent to others involved in such illicit activities.
Furthermore, holding erring customs personnel accountable is also a top priority for the BOC, with several show-cause orders already issued against them.
Additionally, a total of 66 BOC personnel are currently undergoing thorough investigation by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) due to detected violations, ensuring internal accountability and integrity within the bureau.
Collaboration and Joint Operations
To tackle the issue on multiple fronts, the BOC emphasized the paramount importance of intelligence sharing, seamless collaboration, and joint operations with both local and international enforcement agencies.
This multi-pronged approach aims to strengthen the bureau’s ability to detect and apprehend smuggling activities effectively.
Impressive Results of Anti-Smuggling Efforts
As of July 25, the BOC has conducted an impressive 654 anti-smuggling operations, resulting in the seizure of smuggled products worth a staggering PHP 30.1 billion. Among these seizures, PHP 2.9 billion worth of agricultural goods were recovered.
The BOC’s diligence and vigilance have led to the revocation of accreditation for 95 importers and 36 customs brokers who violated or failed to comply with customs regulations.
Priority on Food Security and Production
The commitment to combat agricultural smuggling is part of President Marcos Jr.’s administration’s overarching goal of ensuring food security, affordability, and increased production in the country.
As the concurrent chief of the Department of Agriculture, President Marcos Jr. recognizes the vital role that combatting smuggling plays in achieving these objectives.
the Bureau of Customs, under the direction of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., is determined to strengthen its proactive measures in combating agricultural smuggling.
Through enhanced fraud detection and intelligence capabilities, support for prosecution, and cooperation with other agencies, the BOC aims to safeguard the nation’s food security and economic interests.
The robust results of their anti-smuggling efforts demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that the Philippines remains free from the damaging effects of agricultural smuggling.