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Sen. Bam: Gov’t losing needed revenue on corrupt Customs

Sen. Bam Aquino said the government is losing much-needed revenue due to corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

"Not only are we bringing in drugs, we're also losing money on smuggled goods because of corruption in the BoC," said Sen. Bam after the hearing on the P6.4 billion worth of shabu 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," added Sen. Bam.

It was reported that the BoC fell short of its target for July by 11.2 percent. Last month, the bureau collected P34.8 billion in import duties and other taxes, short of the P39.2-billion target.

As of end-July, the BoC's collection was pegged at P246.9 billion, 3.9 percent short of its goal of P257.1 billion during that span.

Instead of bringing in new personnel, Sen. Bam said the government must implement new systems that will make the BoC efficient and corruption-free.

"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," Sen. Bam stressed.

Earlier, Sen. Bam criticized authorities for allowing the shipment of 600 kilos of shabu slip past their watch. The senator called it a case of "negligence with corruption", where some Customs employees accept bribes to deliberately overlook illegal shipments.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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