Four vehicles were donated by the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP) to the Bureau of Customs on Monday to improve its operational capability in anti-smuggling missions.
The donated vehicles are three Land Cruiser sports utility vehicles and a BMW motorcycle.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the “motor vehicles shall be used to improve logistical performance and overall operational capability of the bureau to eliminate smuggling in the country.”
Guerrero further said that initially, the vehicles were surrendered by the UN-WFP to them for proper disposition as these were already used but were not allowed to be sold locally as imported tax-exempt items.
“Through close coordination between the bureau and UN-WFP, it was decided that the vehicles be donated instead to the Customs bureau as part of the agency’s enhancement of the logistical and enforcement capabilities,” the commissioner said.
Guerrero also expressed his gratitude to the UN-WFP, saying he is optimistic that the vehicles will greatly improve the mobility of the bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) which is responsible for anti-smuggling and other law enforcement activities.
The vehicles were turned over to the Customs bureau in a ceremony at the Port of Manila which was attended by Guerrero together with the bureau’s deputy commissioners, and Mr. Mats Persson, World Food Programme Philippines representative and deputy country director.