Officials of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday expressed optimism on meeting this year’s target of P50.1 billion with the acquisition of new scanning machines at the country’s premier gateway.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said taxable items can be easily detected as well as drugs and guns hidden in luggage and balikbayan (returnee) boxes without opening them.
“The target collection is P50.1 billion this year for NAIA,” Lapeña said, adding that he hopes the BoC-NAIA would increase its revenue.
Lapeña, who inaugurated the X-ray machines to signal the start of operations, said a total of 19 units costing P172 million would be assigned to the NAIA terminals. “These are advance units. We will be able to improve the facilitation of luggage and at the same time, every box or bag would be subjected to thorough inspections.”
The Development Budget Coordinating Committee assigned more than P4 billion as monthly revenue goal.
District III Collector Ed Macabeo said Rapiscan X-ray machines are now installed at NAIA Terminals 1 and 3.
Sixteen more X-rays will be installed at the three terminals of NAIA.
Two more mobile X-ray machines will be utilized to check personal belongings and luggage of VIPs and celebrities, especially those with chartered flights and whose aircraft are parked at the remote parking of the NAIA terminals.
Six months ago, NAIA came up with a policy not to open or subject to inspection the check-in luggage of passengers unless it was marked “X” indicating it may contain taxable items.
The bureau has designated two lanes – red and green – for passengers and crew of arriving international flights to choose where to exit.
The green lane is designated for passengers and crew who have nothing to declare or have no goods for purposes of import duties and taxes, with goods that can be admitted free of import duties and taxes or do not carry any goods which are subject to import prohibition, restriction and regulation.
The red lane is intended for passengers of international airlines with goods to declare for purposes of import duties or taxes, those with goods above the exempted Customs limits or carrying goods or articles prohibited, controlled or regulated by several statutes.
BENJIE L. VERGARA