Biazon admits oil smuggling exists but denies it’s rampant

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Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.  INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Tuesday acknowledged as “real” the problem of oil smuggling in the country.

But he disputed an Inquirer report which had him saying that the problem continued to be rampant during the first two and half years of the Aquino administration.

“It’s a real problem, but I wouldn’t say there’s enough physical evidence to say it’s rampant other than claims based on computations of various data from various sources,” Biazon said.

In a text message to the Inquirer, the customs chief said his office was “embarking on measures to address the problem of oil smuggling.”

“One is the implementation of the policy to collect taxes on petroleum imports, whether they’re bound for economic zones or not. Those which are qualified for exemptions will have to apply for a refund,” he said.

According to Biazon, “this will eliminate a loophole that some smugglers take advantage of.”

“We are also considering a proposal to allow petroleum importations only through specified ports nationwide. And we are setting up an information-gathering system for data coming from the ports in order to clearly analyze the movement of petroleum products,” he added.

The former Muntinlupa legislator said the Bureau of Customs was “one with Petron in hitting oil smuggling.”

“They are not alone and we are their allies. We just need to work together against smuggling and one thing that could be useful to us is information,” he said.

In a press statement, Biazon said that the bureau has enforced “strict vigilance on our ports to avoid smuggling with tight measures, such as providing an imposing BOC presence in coordination with other authorities.”

“The most important component of enforcement is intelligence work. We rely much on the right intelligence work and in our assets. This is how we measure the saturation for convenient intelligence and enforcement operations both in the high seas and our back doors,” he said.

Earlier, Biazon told this paper that he and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima had agreed to tighten the monitoring of the country’s oil imports, especially through ports under the BOC’s direct jurisdiction.

“We’re doing a tour of these ports to gather information and impress upon our personnel the importance of stopping the smuggling of petroleum products,” he said.

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  • koolkid_inthehouse

    He always denies. He never caught an erring Custom officer but got mad when NBI nabbed one. He knows there are oil smugglers but he never reported it to Congress or Senate or the President?

    He must be replaced.

  • kilabot

    ruffy is like a parrot.
    he just repeats what other people say.

    in fairness to ruffy,
    he may be a good man,
    but that’s not enough to run boc and meet collection targets.

  • 100345roselia

    Please Customs Commissioner Biazon for delicadeza sake (for the nth time) please
    resign now & give way to others who can ably stop smuggling. There is something
    wrong with the way you manage the BOC.

  • hopeless_na

    oil smuggling, car smuggling, rice smuggling and so on… wtf is BOC is doing?

  • XY ZEE

    Gawa, at hindi lang puro salita parati.

  • Anqui

    Mr. Commissioner it is not that Smuggling is RAMPANT, but if there is smuggling you should STOP it!!!! If you failed to address the real issue, please step aside, so that someone will take over your job.

  • $26606290

    …..the thieves who run the show at BOC are just laughing behind you Fluffy…..or are you part of it already….regards to the equally inept Danny Lim…is not he your intel chief?

  • kontra_boohaya

    dos palabras: mga kasabuat!

  • boybakal

    Biazon admits oil smuggling exists but denies it’s rampant

    I agree, oil smuggling is not rampant, just quart quart.

  • disqusted0fu

    If you don’t consider a smuggling average of $19 billion a year since 2010 rampant, then what is??? Acceptance is the first step. Stop denying Mr. Biazon. Just accept the fact and do something about it. That’s the same problem that almost the entire Aquino admin has. They just deny everything then move on as if nothing is happening.

  • $26606290

    Ginawa mong parang FB page mo yung BOC website a. Kaya pala walang nangyayari kasi ikaw lang ang sikat. Self-aggrandizement! Give credit to your people. They may decide to work with you and give you the results WE expect.

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