• Customs nets dismal P885M from auctions

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    THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) generated a measly net amount of P885 million from the public auctions of forfeited goods in 2014, compared with P200 billion in revenues the government loses from smuggling.

    A report released on Friday by the Customs bureau’s  Public Information and Assistance Division (PAID) showed that of the total 2014 auction revenue, around 95 percent or P837 million were generated from the Port of Manila (POM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP), the bureau’s flagship ports.

    The remaining  5 percent came from  outports where many of the high-value prohibited and regulated  importations, like rice, sugar and “ukay-ukay’ or used clothing,  among others, were intentionally diverted for fast and easy facilitation.

    The auctioned goods, more often than not, were usually bought through a third person by the importer himself.

    “I only have the figures from the intelligence group, P1.5 billion estimated value of goods issued warrant of seizure and detention and initiation of abandonment proceedings,” Crisostomo told The Manila Times in a text message.

    The two intelligence and the enforcement groups were used to be headed by one deputy commissioner, but was made into two separate units allegedly for political accommodation.

    It is open knowledge that Dellosa and Nepomuceno are feuding, because of the overlapping functions of their units and swapping allegations of corruption.

    But even as the amount generated from public auction pales in comparison to the billions of pesos in lost revenues, Crisostomo claimed that the amount still surpassed the bureau’s auction revenue target.

    He said the  MICP district office conducted a record 17 public auctions generating a total of P580 million, which is 346 percent higher compared to its full-year 2014 auction revenue target of P130 million.

    On the other hand, the POM conducted  six public auctions that generated P257 million, or 150 percent over its revenue target of P103 million.

    Other collection districts which contributed to the bureau’s 2014 auction revenue included the Ports of Cebu with P48 million,  Port of Subic with P636,679, and the Ninoy Aquinto International Airport Collection District  with P43,000.

    The auctions, according to Commissioner John Sevilla, helped in decongesting the ports, which cost the national economy about P43.85 billion, based on a report by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

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