BOC exceeds P10B rice subsidy target anew

758 smuggled vehicles donated to govt. agencies.

FOR the second consecutive year, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has surpassed its assigned special collection of P10 billion annually to fund the government’s subsidy for farmers under RA 11203 or the ‘Rice Import Tariffication Law.’

Atty. Vincent ‘Jett’ Maronilla, BOC spokesman, said aside from delivering on their obligation under the law, the agency even registered a surplus of P728 million, after actually collecting P10.728 billion from January to July 17, 2020.

He added the collection, with still more than five months to go, was despite the lower volume of the country’s rice imports this year.

BOC data showed that the volume of rice import was 24.6 percent lower, or only 1.651 million tons compared to the same period last year.

Despite this, the agency had already surpassed its rice subsidy target by more than 8 percent compared to last year’s actual collection of P9.936 billion on a year-on-year basis.

The government last year decided to remove the “QR” (quantitative restriction) on the importation of rice and instead opted for the imposition of import duty, partly in compliance with the country’s commitment as a member of the World Trade Organization.

Meanwhile, Comm. Rey Leonardo Guerrero last July 22, turned over 758 impounded “smuggled” vehicles to the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and, the Presidential Security Group.

The vehicles have long been gathering rusts at the customs yard at the Port of Appari, Sta. Ana, Cagayan, after the Supreme Court in 2013 ruled that they were covered by Executive Order 156, issued in 2002 by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The SC ruled that righthand and secondhand imported vehicles are covered by the order prompting then BOC commissioner, Ruffy Biazon, to stop their release from the Cagayan Export Processing Zone (CEZA).

Joining Guerrero and his deputy commissioners during the turnover ceremony held at the Commissioner’s Building, Port of Manila, were:

PBGen. Angelito A. Casimero, PNP, Major Mae A. San Agustin, PSG, Port of Appari District Collector Arienito M. Claveria, CEZA Deputy Administrator Agrimero A. Cruz, and, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief-Operations Division Hanzley Lim.

Maronilla added the PNP is to receive 120 units, 60 units for the AFP and, 5 units for the PSG.

He added the balance of 573 units shall be donated to other government agencies yet to be identified.

Previously, the government had decided to simply destroy apprehended smuggled vehicles but the policy was changed last year to having them donated to government agencies...