Marcos eyes BOC digitalization to curb smuggling
ZURICH — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is looking at “some very good ideas,” including the digitalization of the Bureau of Customs to curb rampant smuggling, one of the culprits behind spiraling prices of onions and other agricultural products in the Philippines.
And once a suitable system is in place to bring down food inflation in the country, Marcos said he would relinquish his concurrent post as agriculture secretary to someone who could handle it full-time.
“When this is fixed, when we have the systems in place, yes, yes,” he said in reply to the potential appointment of his successor at the Department of Agriculture.
Marcos decried widespread smuggling in the country, noting that anything could be brought into the country illegally.
“So we have to really look into that, and we have some very good ideas,” Marcos told journalists aboard the presidential plane en route to Switzerland on Sunday.
“We see what the other people are doing in other countries, and we can use some of the strategies that they are using. I think the digitalization of the Bureau of Customs is going to be an important, important part of that.”
But for Marcos, production is still “the most important facet of this whole problem.”
“We have to go back to the sugar industry. We have to go back to the onion growers and help them,” he said.
At present, he noted that the Philippines was dependent on imports because of shortfalls in production, which made it especially difficult during the pandemic.
“It’s the same thing, like now. When we lost supply from abroad or when we take supplies from abroad, the inflationary forces overseas we also bring to the Philippines,” he said.
Marcos said the government was closely watching consumer price increases.
“So we’ll have to bring that down for the rest of the year. And I think it will come down,” he said.
Marcos meets private sector for help vs ‘rampant smuggling’
Salceda: Chinese-led ‘mafia’ behind agricultural smuggling
Marcos Jr. pushes for major system-wide reform vs smuggling
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.