Lacson: Customs ‘tara’ system still alive

MANILA Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday revealed that the so-called tara (payoff) system continues to exist within the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In a privilege speech, Lacson noted that while BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has remained untainted by corruption, several corrupt Customs officials continue to receive grease money.

Despite my expose on the massive corruption inside the Bureau of Customs, much to my dismay, I was informed just recently that the Tara System has not been, by any chance, suppressed. Worse, for many Customs officials, it remains business-as-usual, Lacson said.

Lacson said his sources confirmed that the following departments or sections in the BOC continue to take their "tara" per container supposedly distributed as follows: for the Office of the Commissioner (OCOM), an average of PHP5,000 per container plus 10 percent of the collections of each section/office directly under OCOM; PHP3,000 for Intelligence Group; PHP1,000 to PHP2,000 for the Enforcement Group; PHP3,000 for the Risk Management Office; and PHP2,000 to PHP3,000 for the Import and Assessment Service.

Kung kani-kanino napupunta ang nasabing mga 'tara' (The 'tara' is going to various people) for his office or the Office of the Commissioner, I will leave it to Gen. Guerrero to investigate and find out, Lacson said.

Lacson said the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Port of Manila (POM) district offices receive PHP3,000 per container, noting that container with alert order may be charged as high as PHP50,000.

When we tolerate corruption and its perpetrators in the institution, reward incompetence rather than weed out the roots that breed it; the public will start to believe it is a given and Customs officials will start to believe it is a routine, Lacson added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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