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BOC Highlights Remarkable Achievements and Collaborative Efforts in Meeting with DOF Secretary

September 22, 2023

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio, together with other key officials of the BOC, met with Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno on Thursday, September 21, 2023, to provide comprehensive updates on the agency’s recent accomplishments and ongoing initiatives. These meetings are part of the DOF’s ongoing weekly engagements with the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to ensure efficient coordination.

During the meeting, Commissioner Rubio presented the BOC’s revenue collection performance from September 1 to 19, 2023. The BOC successfully collected a staggering total of ₱47.2 billion pesos during this period.

The Commissioner also highlighted in his report to the Finance Secretary the collaborative efforts between the BOC and the Royal Malaysian Customs to curb the illicit flow of cigarettes between the Philippines and Malaysia. Both customs administrations agreed to develop concept papers for a joint operation under the ASEAN Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG). This initiative aims to bolster cooperation in monitoring and combating the illicit cigarette trade. Upcoming discussions on this matter are scheduled for the next ASEAN CECWG meeting in October 2023.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to brief Secretary Diokno on various ongoing initiatives, including the transfer of 4,000 metric tons of Thailand white refined sugar to the Department of Agriculture (DA). The DA has taken charge and is coordinating with relevant authorities to ensure the efficient transfer of this sugar to the NFA Warehouse, where it will serve its intended purpose effectively.

In addition, discussions revolved around efforts to address forfeited sugar containers at various ports. The BOC has actively sought clearances from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) for the disposal of these containers through a public auction. Positive developments have been noted, with clearances already granted for the Port of Subic, while similar requests are pending for the Manila International Container Port.

The Commissioner also shared details of the seizure and forfeiture of 42,180 sacks of rice worth ₱42 million pesos in Zamboanga City due to the absence of the required Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC). Following forfeiture, the rice was generously donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, ultimately reaching beneficiaries in Zamboanga City and Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay, led by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

The BOC report further highlighted the agency’s intensified anti-smuggling campaign, which resulted in 717 successful seizure operations and apprehensions, amounting to an estimated ₱31.55 billion pesos. These operations targeted counterfeit goods, agricultural products, and cigarettes and tobacco.

Furthermore, the BOC’s successful fuel marking efforts were presented, with 323.52 million liters of fuel marked from September 9 to 15, 2023, bringing the year’s total to an impressive 13.39 billion liters. This marked a substantial year-on-year increase of 274.63 million liters, underscoring the agency’s dedication to combat fuel smuggling. As of September 14, 2023, a remarkable ₱749.53 billion pesos worth of fuel had been marked.

The Bureau of Customs remains resolute in its commitment to fostering transparency, enhancing cooperation, and safeguarding the nation’s fiscal interests. The remarkable achievements and collaborative efforts discussed during the meeting with DOF Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno underscore the BOC’s dedication to its mission.#

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