Friday, May 4, 2018

Ex-President Aquino's first two years plagued with $39.2B worth of smuggled goods

Veteran columnist Rigoberto Tiglao says that smuggling was at its worst in the Philippines during former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino’s term with smuggled values totalling to $ 39.2 billion in just his first two years as president.

The amount was bigger than former President Gloria Arroyo’s nine years’ worth of smuggle issues that totaled to P 35.9 billion. These are based on reports from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Direction of Trade Statistics.

The largest value of smuggled items during Aquino’s term came from China, Japan, and Korea, although there was also an increase of smuggled items from the US, Indonesia, and India. Most of these items were agricultural products, pork, and chicken.

Even a group of trade association referred to this large-scale government gaffe under Aquino as “the worst in the last 20 years”. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) had either been too lenient or too involved to put stop the operations.

The Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon that time defended the stats saying that the BOC’s poor performance is responsible for the discrepancies.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon / Photo from Google

The Senate that time called for an investigation on the matter due in part to the report from the IMF. A trade organization lamented that the smuggling scene has proliferated in the Philippines because “either the smugglers are running circles around Biazon, or the tuwid na daan is really a very crooked one.”

Another remarked: “Don’t you notice that Biazon isn’t crying that he’s not included in Aquino’s senatorial slate, while his deputy commissioner for intelligence Danny Lim has recently become so quiet?

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Source: Inquirer

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