Beng calls BOC’s attention on Zambo smuggling issue PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 August 2015 10:58

by Vic Larato

Mayor Beng Climaco is once again calling on the attention of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the unabated smuggling of rice and sugar in the port city of Zamboanga, stressing that the agency’s main mandate is to prevent and stop illegal importation of goods from other counties.

“We once again call the attention of our customs authorities to stop the entry of smuggled rice and sugar to the city. We ask them to account for missing smuggled sugar recently,” Mayor Climaco said during her press briefing in City Hall yesterday.

The chief executive said the local government has been doing its part in the fight against smuggling as called for under the Local Government Code, but she lamented that there are certain limitations that only the BOC has full jurisdiction and control.

“We have been coordinating with the local police and barangay officials as far as anti-smuggling campaign is concerned and there have been series of apprehensions. But the BOC has to do its obligations aggressively,” the mayor said.

Climaco further said the police together with Task Force Zamboanga have conducting regular inspections on the city’s shorelines, both in the east and west coasts of the city, for security purposes that goes with it the entry of smuggled goods.

Accordingly, the BOC has claimed that most smuggled goods gained entry to the city through private wharves which abound on the coastlines of Zamboanga and that the agency does not have jurisdiction over them.

To recall, the rampant smuggling of rice and sugar in the port of Zamboanga was the subject of an inquiry by the Senate Committee on Agriculture chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar, but no result has been released.

However, the issue has resulted in the reshuffling of BOC officials in the region, but no one has been charged as of yet.— Vic Larato