Press Release
August 21, 2015

No CCTV, no balikbayan box inspection - Recto

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has a budget of P3.2 billion this year.

Last year, it collected P1.01 billion every day. This year it has revenue goal of P436.6 billion or P1.2 billion per day.

With this amount of money, it can certainly pay for a CCTV system, or what we can call Customs Closed-Circuit TV, so that whenever its personnel will open a balikbayan box, that inspection is duly recorded by a camera.

On the purchase of CCTVs, Customs cannot plead poverty. If a neighbourhood sari-sari can have one, or a small carinderia can afford it, Customs certainly could.

Kahit nga taxi may dashboard cam, siguro naman kaya din ng Customs magkaroon nito.

The BOC also cannot give the excuse that affordable CCTVs would be hard to buy locally. Bumabaha nito sa Raon at Binondo. Alam dapat ito ng BOC, kasi dumadaan sa kanila ang mga kargamentong ito.

The BOC has announced that it will selectively and randomly open balikbayan boxes for inspection based on the suspicion that a few are being used to smuggle in taxable goods.

Kung gagawin man nila ito, dapat naka-video para kung sakaling magreklamo ang consignee na mayroong nawala, may pruweba ang BOC na walang anomalyang nangyari nang binuksan ang kahon.

This is also for the protection of BOC personnel. They would be able to do their job secure in the knowledge that they're on candid camera.

The use of a video file in business transactions is commonplace nowadays. Eh di ba yung ilang shippers nga, pinag-se-selfie pa ang nag-re-receive ng balikbayan box as proof that the box was received intact?

The bigger issue is for BoC to run after big-time smugglers, those who, for example, bring in rice in ships as big as a mall.

Or, as in the case of the reported smuggling of oil and fuel, in tankers a million times bigger and easier to spot than a balikbayan box.

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