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Strict CMTA implementation will block entry of shabu, garbage — Atienza

Monday, November 26, 2018

Minority bloc member and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza on Tuesday said the strict implementation of R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) will put an end to the smuggling of drugs and garbage to the country.

Atienza said the CMTA has already provided measures to ensure that inbound shipments are properly identified even before arrival in the country.

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However, this was not implemented by the authorized agencies, he said.

“What causes all of these?  ‘Yong ayaw pagtupad ng Bureau of Customs (BOC) at ng Department of Finance (DOF), in the spirit of the Customs Modernization Act we passed in 2016, the pre-shipment inspection is already provided for,” Atienza said in a press briefing.

Atienza was referring to Section 440 of CMTA, which allows the BOC to create an “advance customs clearance” on containerized cargoes.  However, the same section states that the creation of such system is a “voluntary program”.

According to Atienza, if an advance Customs clearance system or a pre-shipment inspection plan is put in place, authorities will have the authority to know the contents of a cargo even before transport to the country.  Such systems would also double-check if the goods inside are legitimate or contrabands.

“Don sa pinaggagalingan, dapat mayroon nang inspeksyon,” Atienza said.

Meanwhile, another minority lawmaker added that the BOC needs to acquire an X-ray machine.  Although it may be expensive, the machine would actually result in a higher collection by the bureau.

“I have proposed a no X-ray, no entry policy.  I wrote the President, I wrote all the senators about this, it’s only a P25 billion investment for a P140 billion gain every year of customs collections.  Hindi ko rin maintindihan kung bakit ngayon, hindi pa rin ginagawa,” Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves said.

On Tuesday, 51 container vans loaded with garbage from South Korea were allowed entry into the Port of Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental.  Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to file a democratic protest with the Republic of Korea over the incident.

It was not the first time that garbage from other countries have entered the country’s ports.  In 2013, garbage loaded into container vans arrived at the Manila International Container Port.