BOC, BIR told to intensify anti-smuggling drive on 5 goods
Officials of Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) were told to train their sights on the smuggling of rice and four other commodities as they iron out a plan to create a joint task force to run after big-time smugglers.
A statement showed that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has recently ordered Commissioners Isidro Lapeña of the BOC and Caesar Dulay of the BIR that they should focus on rice, fuel, steel, cigarettes and other food and agricultural product such as chicken, onions and garlic in beefing up the governments’ efforts to combat smuggling.
He issued the directive after Lapeña presented before a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (ExeCom) meeting his plan to form a joint task force with the BIR to help revitalize the BOC’s anti-smuggling campaign.
“Make sure that you’re working together there. I think you should focus on fuel, rice and other agricultural products, including chicken, onions, garlic. And then there is steel, and then cigarettes. I’m sure the smuggling of cigarettes will go up now,” Dominguez said.
To put more teeth into the BOC’s anti-smuggling efforts, Lapeña, for his part, reported to Dominguez that he has ordered the filing of cases against erring importers and customs brokers and directed “the strict scrutiny of all documents to ensure their authenticity.”