By Chino S. Leyco
The Bureau of Customs has confiscated some ₱12.92 billion worth of smuggled goods, most of which were illegal drugs plus counterfeit goods, cigarettes and other tobacco products in the first 10 months of the year.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said they were able to foil the entry of shabu shipments worth a total of ₱2.96 billion in three separate incidents, while other illegal substances worth ₱151.74 million were also seized in January to October.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Guerrero said the bulk of the goods seized as of October 24 this year were mostly counterfeit products worth a total of ₱7.81 billion, and which were intercepted in 14 separate incidents in various ports.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products valued at ₱1.69 billion were also confiscated by the agency, along with ₱107.59 million worth of agricultural products.
The other seized goods were vehicles and accessories worth P67.25 million; used clothing valued at P54.66 million; steel products, P12.61 million; general merchandise valued at P9.39 million; and other products, P58.20 million.
Guerrero said that Customs has also filed 20 cases against illegal operations that impede the bureau’s revenue collections and revoked the accreditation of 16o importers and 20 brokers in line with its anti-corruption campaign at end-October.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has also stepped up its drive to improve tax administration, with the temporary closure of 567 establishments under its Oplan Kandado program from January to September 2019, BIR Deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa reported during the same Execom meeting.
Guballa said this represents a 346.45 percent increase over the 127 closures the bureau had implemented in the previous year.
As a result, the BIR was able to collect P798.7 million in taxes from the delinquent establishments over the January to October period, Guballa said.
The amount is P444.9 million or 125.75 percent higher than the previous year’s collections of P353.8 million under the Oplan Kandado program.