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16 June 2024, 17:06 PM

Official Statement of the Bureau of Customs in Response to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s Stern Warning Against Smugglers and Hoarders of Agricultural Products

July 27, 2023

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) takes President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s State of the Nation Address as a call to action, and we reaffirm our commitment to addressing the pressing issues of smuggling and hoarding of agricultural products in our country. We stand fully supportive of the President’s directives and will collaborate closely in the investigation he has ordered.

To bolster our efforts in curbing these illegal activities, the BOC is set to implement a series of proactive measures.

We will enhance both pre-arrival and post-arrival technical targeting and fraud detection mechanisms for imported goods. Investing in additional equipment and providing capacity building for our personnel that will further strengthen our intelligence and enforcement capabilities.

In our pursuit of effective enforcement, we will intensify collaboration, joint operations, and information sharing with local and international law enforcement and regulatory agencies, including but not limited to the International Criminal Police Organization, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, among others.

The BOC is committed to expedite the prosecution of filed cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Additionally, through DOJ, we will strive to increase the conviction rate of smugglers, serving as a deterrent to others involved in such illicit activities.

As demonstrated by our track record, the BOC remains steadfast in our commitment to seize illegal and smuggled goods entering the country. As of 25 July 2023, we have successfully seized Php 30.1 Billion worth of smuggled goods thru 654 operations. The seized goods include various agricultural products amounting to over P2.9 billion.

In maintaining the integrity of our processes, the Account Management Office (AMO) has diligently processed the accreditation of 7,733 Importers and 1,263 Customs Brokers from 01 January to 25 July 2023. Simultaneously, AMO revoked the accreditation of 95 Importers and 36 Customs Brokers due to violations of customs laws, rules, and regulations.

Internal accountability is of paramount importance to us. From January to July 25, 2023, a total of 7 Show-Cause orders have been issued against erring BOC personnel, while 66 BOC personnel are currently undergoing investigation by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).

The Bureau of Customs remains committed in protecting the integrity of our borders, ensuring compliance with customs laws, and fostering a secure environment for the nation’s economic growth. We will work diligently to implement these measures and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to achieve our common goal of eradicating smuggling and hoarding of agricultural products.

 

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