Gov’t losing much-needed revenue due to corruption at BOC

By , on August 15, 2017

Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. (PNA photo)
FILE: Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV. (PNA photo)

MANILA — A senator on Tuesday slammed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) anew for being home to several corrupt officials and blamed them for being responsible for the government’s losing “much-needed” revenue.

“Not only are we bringing in drugs, we’re also losing money on smuggled goods because of corruption in the BOC,” Aquino said during the Senate probe into the PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu from China that slipped past the bureau’s watch.

“Habang pinoproblema ang tax reform at pagpondo sa libreng edukasyon sa mga state universities and colleges (SUCs), hinahayaan lang na mawala ang kita ng gobyerno sa imports dahil sa korupsyon sa Customs (While he worries about the tax reform and funding for free education in state universities and colleges, the bureau is allowing the loss of revenue from imports because of corruption in Customs),” he added.

Aquino said that instead of bringing in new personnel, he urged the government to implement new systems to rid the bureau of corrupt officials.

“Kahit araw-araw tayong magpalit ng tauhan sa BOC, wala ring mangyayari kung mananatili ang mga lumang sistema na pinag-uugatan ng katiwalian sa ahensiya (Even if we replace employees at the BOC, nothing will happen if we keep the same, old system run by a corrupt agency),” Aquino said.

Reports showed that the BOC fell short of its target for July by 11.2 percent. Last month, the bureau collected PHP34.8 billion in import duties and other taxes, short of the PHP39.2-billion target.

As of end-July, the BOC’s collection was pegged at PHP246.9 billion, which is 3.9 percent short of its goal of PHP257.1 billion during that span.