On Target: Customs bureau inspects wrong cargo | Inquirer News

On Target: Customs bureau inspects wrong cargo

/ 07:00 AM August 25, 2015

Why does the Bureau of Customs (BOC) inspect “balikbayan” boxes that overseas contract workers send or bring back to their families when thousands of containers leaving the piers every day are not inspected?

Why pick on the boxes that bring so much joy to thousands, nay, millions of folks?


The containers which supposedly pass through customs inspection are intercepted outside the customs zone by Task Force Pantalan and another task force of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Task Force Pantalan, formed by Palace Secretary Rene Almendras to help ease the congestion at the piers and was given  the added duty of going after smugglers, allegedly demands P5,000 for each container suspected of carrying highly dutiable goods.


On the other hand, the DTI task force allegedly demands five time more than “Pantalan”—P25,000 per container, according to  reliable customs insiders.

The amounts collected from the suspected shipments do not go to the government but to the pockets of corrupt members of the two task forces, if reports from  my customs sources are true.

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Incidentally, why would the importers who brought in the shipments cough out P5,000 to Task Force Pantalan and P25,000 to the DTI task force if they paid the correct tariff at the customs bureau?

What’s the use of the X-ray machines at the South Harbor and Manila International Container Port which supposedly detect undeclared goods inside the containers?

Customs sources say one of the officers of the BOC X-ray unit had been linked to a rice -smuggling incident in Batangas province last year, Why was he placed in a sensitive—and potentially lucrative—position if he has a questionable reputation?

It seems that like his predecessor, Customs Commissioner Bert Lina is being given the runaround by his corrupt subordinates.


According to insiders, Lina easily believes  whispers  and  recommendations to issue alert orders on shipments without trying to determine the motive.

The customs chief even reportedly listened to a report from the Naval Intelligence and Security Force to issue an alert order regarding some shipments when going after smugglers is not part of the Navy unit’s duties.
The customs people or outsiders who recommend the order tell importers that since they were responsible for holding the shipments, they could also have them released.

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As parents, you are probably shaking your heads over the insubordinate attitude of a son in the case of a much-publicized father-versus-son court battle over the possession of a company the old man  had set up.
The son was given a  high position by the father in the company because of their filial relationship.

But the son, after a stint in the company for sometime, wants more than his share of the company. He wants to drive out the old man.

He’s like a snake that bites the hand that has been feeding it.

I wonder if he has heard of karma or the universal law of cause and effect.

How he treats his father now will surely be exactly how his children will  treat him  later.

Or his friends or those close to him might want to take all his holdings the same way he’s doing to his father.

Karma is inescapable.

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TAGS: balikbayan boxes, Bureau of Customs, court battle, DTI task force, father versus son, Graft and Corruption, karma, On Target, Task Force Pantalan
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