‘PH loses $20-B to smuggling each year’
MANILA, Philippines – The total value of smuggling in the Philippines amounts to $20 billion per year, according to former Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo.
At the Arangkada Philippines Forum on Tuesday, February 26, De Ocampo said smuggling of various commodities such as petroleum, rice and fertilizers into the country is a major blow to government’s efforts to increase its revenues.
“The value of smuggled commodities is estimated at almost $20 billion annually. This is a big hole in the drive for a better fiscal situation. BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) can’t do it alone,” De Ocampo said.
Cabinet Oversight Committee Against Smuggling Chairman Ernesto Ordoñez noted smuggling worsened in the last 12 years. He urged government to resurrect the committee that used to monitor the Bureau of Customs.
Ordoñez said he observed that whenever the BOC is left to its own devices, smuggling cases skyrocket.
Rolando Dy, economist from the University of Asia and the Pacific, said there must be “serious oversight of the informal trade of agriculture.”
Dy added along with this, the private sector must put up a trust fund to develop key agricultural land. This will help grow the value chain of Philippine products. – Rappler.com