Without reforms, rice smuggling can go on

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Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Ruffy Biazon confirmed on Wednesday that rice smuggling is rampant in the country and has been ongoing even before his Customs stint.

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Biazon said that the rice smuggling may continue to go on even after the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd “if there are no reforms and changes in the systems.
“There is no denying however, that it [rice smuggling]is a continuing war that the Customs is fighting,” Biazon said.

He noted that during his time, he left to agency the implementation of the Containerized Cargo Clearance (CCC), a similar program to the pre-shipment inspection in the past.

The CCC aims to eliminate misdeclaration, one of the principal means of smuggling rice, the former BOC chief said.

“It will also help gather data which Customs can use to screen inbound shipments because the source of data will be from the port of origin,” Biazon added.

He believes that the current BOC chief can pursue the initiative he left for the BOC to effect reforms in the system and break the modus employed by smugglers “for decades.”

A system of reform is needed at the BOC not only on the personnel changes, but also from employing technology to policy changes, Biazon said.

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