Editorial | Curb smuggling

DESPITE the stringent measures that the Bureau of Customs has imposed in fighting smuggling, unscrupulous individuals have continued to find ways on how to bring to the shores contrabands.For example, last week the agency reported that it seized five shipments of misdeclared goods worth P50 million at the ports of Davao in separate incidents.

Based on the report, among the shipments were candies and mosquito coils, apples, onions, used clothing, magic sugar and lotion. Another container also contained rice.

As a result of the incidents, the agency has blacklisted the importers and other companies, among them brokers that were involved in sneaking the misdeclared goods to the ports.

It only goes to show how much creative have the smugglers become so crafty in ensuring that their illegal goods enter the country without being noticed.

It is high time for the government to tap steps that will make it really hard for these dishonest people in sneaking these goods without even paying their dues and that some of them are illegal in nature.

For one the government can initially use the long-mothballed x-ray machine at the designated examination area of businessman Rodolfo Reta.

The area has been closed since the agency, then under former Collector Anju Nereo Castigador, ordered its closure when Reta reported that an importer smuggled rice by misdeclaring the cargo. Instead of commending it for a job well done, the agency at that time made the order to close it down.

Because of the incident, Reta has sought legal remedies as the area has been covered by an agreement between him and the government. But even with the court order and the entry of the new officials of the agency, the area has not been reopened.

It is about time for the agency to reopen it so it could function for the purpose that it was designed. This will not only give the government another facility to help curb smuggling, but it will also correct the injustice done on Reta.3cartoon

Posted in Opinion