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Philippine Standard Time:
19 June 2024, 08:47 AM

MARCOS CITES BOC FOR ANTI-RICE SMUGGLING EFFORTS

September 20, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. praised the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) strong stand against smuggling during the successful turnover of P42 million worth of rice to selected government agencies and beneficiaries on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

The President led the distribution of 42,180 sacks of rice to select beneficiaries in Zamboanga City and Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. The remaining stocks will be allocated to different regions across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao once the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has identified areas where rice supply is most needed.

In his speech, President Marcos cited BOC for its consistent investigation and inspection of warehouses suspected of storing smuggled rice. He praised government’s commitment to address smuggling, highlighting BOC’s pivotal role in the campaign against illicit trade. The President’s recognition underscores the importance of BOC’s efforts and reaffirms government’s determination to safeguard national interests and border integrity.

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio expressed full support for the President’s campaign, stating, “The BOC treats this matter with the utmost urgency, as it is crucial not only for our farmers but also for all Filipinos who work diligently to put food on the table. That’s why the BOC will relentlessly curb these illegal activities.”

Earlier, the BOC seized the 42,180 sacks of rice at the Port of Zamboanga after the owner failed to submit the necessary documentation to prove the legality of its importation and payment of correct duties and taxes due thereon.

Following Executive Order No. 39-2023, the President ordered BOC to intensify intelligence gathering efforts to identify and padlock warehouses suspected of storing smuggled rice. The Bureau was also instructed to work closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for appropriate steps to address unwarranted price increases and supply shortage manipulation.

The President’s marching orders aim to safeguard the interests of consumers and ensure that rice remains an affordable and accessible staple for all Filipinos.

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