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Senators are informed of BOC modernization initiatives.

On Monday, the Senate Tax Study and Research Office (STSRO) and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means were briefed on the modernization initiative by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and JV Ejercito, as well as members and officials from the Ways and Means Committee and the STSRO, were led through a visual examination and tour of the bureau’s modernization initiatives by BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz.

At the BOC’s main headquarters in Manila, the BOC chief gave visitors tours of the Customs Customer Care Center, the X-ray Inspection Program, and the Customs Operations Center.

Additionally, BOC representatives conducted briefings on the Authorized Economic Operator Program, Electronic Value Reference Information System, Philippine Customs Modernization Program, and Customs Processing Systems.

“President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is adamant on his mandate of the eight-point socioeconomic agenda,” Ruiz said during his opening remarks. “The emphasis is the prioritization of ensuring sound macroeconomic fundamentals by improving bureaucratic efficiency and ensuring sound fiscal management as well as enhancing the digital economy.”

In order to further enhance their facilities and “achieve our goal of being a modernized and credible Customs Administration among the best in the world,” he continued, they are receptive to the Senate’s “constructive comments.”

The BOC has completed more digitization projects and automated 91% of its procedures.

In order to secure the effective delivery of government services and to combat corruption, smuggling, and other fraudulent acts, Ruiz also promised the quick execution of digitization projects.

Senator JV Ejercito called for the complete execution of Republic Act No. 10845, also known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, in a news release. He also stated that smugglers should be charged with the non-bailable offense of economic sabotage.

He emphasized Sinag’s caution that there are many new agricultural traffickers who were not on the list that was previously provided to the Senate.

They supposedly bring rice, frozen meat products, red and white onions, and so forth.

As the primary author of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Law, I declare that there are several agricultural smugglers who operate in my nation (It is sad to know that there are still agri-smugglers in our country). Though our laws are being disregarded, it has been six to seven years since the law was passed, according to Ejercito.

Ejercito stated that Sinag is collaborating with the Department of Agriculture and BOC to file economic sabotage charges against the traffickers of white onions worth an estimated PHP30 million that were recently seized at the Manila International Container Port.

He asserted that the BOC’s modernization initiatives ought to be focused on reducing agricultural smuggling and tackling the agency’s allegedly pervasive corruption.

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