How Customs is working to help curb rice smuggling

Posted at 02/20/2014 3:27 PM

MANILA – Customs Commissioner Sunny Sevilla has come up with a simple way to help curb rice smuggling.

Starting this week, the National Food Authority (NFA) will give the Bureau of Customs (BOC) a list of authorized rice shipments, making it easier for them to check if the permits importers present to them are fake.

"Ngayon nache-check na namin sino talaga ang may import permit," said Sevilla.

Sevilla said he is investigating personnel who allowed 200,000 tons of rice to enter the Philippines without import permits from the NFA last year.

Sevilla said the importers may have submitted fake import permits, but that won't excuse the officials who checked them.

"Nagkaroon ng breakdown in the process. Paano nangyari? Kapag may nakapasok na walang import permit, may nag-clear na appraiser or examiner. So tinatanong namin sila, 'Bakit na-clear ang mga ito?'" he said.

About 150,000 tons passed through Manila, 50,000 through Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.