BOC welcomes probe on alleged steel smuggling

MANILA -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday welcomed the investigation on the alleged smuggling and proliferation of substandard steel products.

In a statement, Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero assured the public that they will cooperate and assist in the probe of BOC personnel.

Guerrero made the statement after House Bill 379 filed by the House of Representatives Committee on Trade and Industry which is tasked to investigate the alleged irregularities involving large steelmakers and officials of the bureau.

The probe is part of the investigation by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Lower House initiated by Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Lemuel Fortun.

Meanwhile, Guerrero urged the public to provide information regarding the illegal and irregular activities allegedly committed by unscrupulous importers/brokers in connivance with some customs employees.

The bureau also sought the assistance of industry experts to ascertain the auditing of industry imports coming into the country.

On the other hand, Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG) head, Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla said they have been active in conducting post-audit of importers.

He reported that four to five big steel companies are under post-clearance audit to ensure that no irregularities occurred during their past importations.

Maronilla added that no effort shall be wasted in making those responsible for the entry of substandard steel liable.

The PCAG head said errant importers may be held liable to pay penalties and charges ranging from 125 percent to 600 percent of the revenue loss arising from negligent or fraudulent declarations. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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