MANILA – Close to PHP32 billion worth of smuggled goods, including agricultural products, were seized from January to September, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported Saturday.
According to Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Verne Enciso, the bureau has so far apprehended illegal shipments of various items worth PHP31.5 billion, as of Sept. 15.
Enciso said the amount of products seized was the highest ever recorded by the bureau.
“Considering that the year is not yet over, that has superseded the anti-smuggling efforts of the Bureau from previous years,” the BOC official said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.
Majority of the items seized by the bureau were counterfeit items such as shoes, bags and clothes.
The recorded amount of smuggled agricultural products is at PHP3.3 billion.
Aside from fake items and agricultural products, also included in the list were smuggled cigarettes and illegal drugs.
A total of 236,571 sacks of rice were also issued Warrant of Seizure and Detention in several warehouses in Luzon, Enciso said.
He explained that the owners of the warehouses have been given time to submit pertinent documents like proof of payment of duties and taxes, which will prove that rice importation is legal.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. distributed around 1,500 sacks of confiscated imported rice to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program during his visit to the National Food Authority warehouse in Zamboanga City.
On Friday, the President was in the City of General Trias, Cavite for the same event, distributing 1,200 sacks of rice.
More beneficiaries received free rice at the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair launch in Camarines Sur, Davao de Oro, Leyte and Ilocos Norte on Saturday. (PNA)