Aquino government to curb smuggling by bringing smugglers to the bar of justice

MANILA, Feb. 4 (PNA) — The Aquino government is actively taking steps to curb smuggling and bring smugglers to the bar of justice, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said on Tuesday.

Since 2010 the government has filed a total of 157 cases under the Run After Tax Evaders and Smugglers program for an average of one case per week, Coloma said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang.

“Following President Aquino’s directive, the Bureau of Customs led by Commissioner (John Philip) Sevilla has taken steps to promote transparency and openness, simplified transactions, and adopted a systemic approach to plug loopholes and minimize opportunities for graft and corruption,” Coloma said.

The Communications Secretary said the specific reform measures include centralized single reference for valuation information, implementation of a single dispute resolution process for valuation, digitization of every single formal transaction, review of the monitoring of Customs-bonded warehouses, revamp of the importer accreditation process and intensified monitoring of sensitive imports.

The President earlier assured the public that his administration remains committed to improve the services of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by enhancing the anti-smuggling efforts.

The BOC is enhancing its efforts in revenue collection by curbing smuggling activities and to provide quality service to stakeholders with professionalism and integrity, facilitate trade in a secured manner and adapt measures compliant to international best practices and standards. (PNA)