MANILA — To protest against the recent memorandum from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which requires them to seek accreditation, more than 10,000 Customs brokers are going on an indefinite holiday starting today.
The memorandum orders issued by the Department of Finance (DOF), BIR and Bureau of Customs (BOC) requires them to secure accreditation from the BIR before they can transact with the BOC.
Congestion in the two primary ports in Metro Manila is expected to get even worse as the brokers are yet to decide when to end their protest.
“At this point in time, the ports are already over congested. More than 100 percent of the MICP and the POM are utilized because we already have a problem with the truck ban and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board policy on colorum trucks,” Mary Zapata, president of the Aduana Business Club Inc., said.
“The problem is that everybody wants to comply but it is very difficult to secure the requirements… I hope they would reconsider… We are willing to comply, we just want an extension because what they think is simple for us to comply with their requirements is actually difficult,” Zapata added.
Meanwhile, Customs spokesperson Charo Logarta-Lagamon said that they are going to give the brokers an ample time to comply with the accreditation requirements.
“They had more time to adjust to this paradigm,” she said. “It is just an accreditation. The point of the accreditation is to synergize the records of the BIR and the BOC so we could check and strengthen the monitoring and audit and ensure that the government is collecting the correct duties and taxes. It is just for monitoring,” Lagamon said.
“The plan of the brokers is that they would protest but they would leave their customers hanging. Their customers need their goods out of here in the ports… I just hope that they would not give the importers a hard time. Let us think of our importers because accreditation is just accreditation. If you have been honest in declaring your income, forthcoming and transparent with your income then what is the problem,” Lagamon added.