Philippine Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has ordered the immediate disposal of seized, abandoned, forfeited, and overstaying cargoes at all ports.
In a May 20 memorandum to district collectors, Port Operations Service directors, Auction and Cargo Disposal Monitoring Division chief, and Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG) deputy commissioner, Guerrero said the measure will contribute to “prudent” use of “limited manpower since disposal of these items in our custody would mean personnel assigned safeguarding these cargoes may be assigned where they are needed most.”
Guerrero required an inventory of all seized, abandoned, forfeited, and overstaying cargoes with a corresponding disposal plan and timeliness. The list will have to be submitted to AOCG, which has been assigned to coordinate the bureau-wide endeavor that Guerrero said forms part of the BOC’s revenue-generating measures.
The May 20 order follows BOC’s Collectors’ Conference on May 17 where one of the directives given was to channel more efforts into tapping non-traditional sources of revenue.
But even prior to this order, several orders to fast track the disposal of seized, abandoned, forfeited, and overstaying containers have been issued—though implementation of some has been limited to certain ports.
For 2019, BOC is tasked to collect P677 billion, which Guerrero earlier said was doable if the following were done: strict implementation of customs rules and regulations; correct valuation/assessment of commodities and taxes due; streamlining of processes and enhancement of computer systems to facilitate trade and eliminate opportunities for corruption; daily monitoring and close supervision of collection; and strict enforcement of border control measures to eradicate smuggling and boost revenue collection.
This year, BOC has so far hit its monthly targets for January and April, after failing to do so in February and March. – Roumina Pablo