Zambo collectors urged: Improve performance

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Bureau of Customs district office for the Zamboanga Peninsula and Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi crafted recently a more comprehensive measure to address border control issues and improve the collection of customs duties and taxes.

The new measures were crafted after Custom Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz motivated the BoC district collectors all over the country to further improve their performance in border control and in the collection of customs duties and taxes.

BoC Zamboanga City district collector Segundo Barte Jr. said that the BoC chief stressed that they should further improve their performance as there is still room for improvement.

“He did not ask us to double our performance in border control and collection of duties and taxes but simply told us to improve our performance,” said Barte, adding that with the new direction, he had ordered the immediate deployment of two sophisticated fast crafts along the sea lanes of Taganak in Tawi-Tawi and another two in the Simunul sea lanes also in Tawi-Tawi to address the issue of border control.

The four fast crafts are equipped with sophisticated weapons and powered by a twin 150 horsepower engine and manned by BoC police and military personnel.

Barte said that the Taganak and Simunul sea lanes are the main sea lanes being utilized by smugglers in bringing in imported cigarettes and other smuggled goods to the country.

While the task of stopping the entry of smuggled goods to the region is tough, still he said they have to do it as stipulated in their BoC mandates.

For the month of July alone, the BoC in Region 9 and BaSulTa areas seized over 1,000 master cases of imported tobacco leave products worth P45 million and had investigated 27 people whom they caught transporting the contraband in six different operations it had in the region.

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