Zambo mayor asks Customs to step up drive vs rice smuggling

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/24 July) – Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has urged the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to intensify its campaign efforts against rice smuggling in this city.

Salazar revealed that her office has received reports about rampant rice smuggling and that the matter has been referred to Darwisha Schuck, officer-in-charge of the local Customs Office.

Salazar said BoC authorities have claimed the taxes for the rice are being paid in Jolo, Sulu and Bongao, Tawi-Tawi but the cargoes oftentimes bear no documents.

She pointed out the BoC should ensure that the required taxes are paid and that all transactions are done legally.

She said that while the local government fully supports such campaign “you (BoC) will also have to show to us your accomplishments.”

Salazar encouraged the residents to remain vigilant and report any illegal activities such as rice smuggling to the concerned authorities.

She noted that President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, in his fourth State of the Nation Address, warned various agencies including the customs bureau they would be dealt with the full implementation of the attrition law if they failed to meet their targets.

Aquino singled out the BoC’s dismal performance in curbing smuggling in his Sona on Monday.

Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon immediately offered to resign from his post. But the President did not accept it saying he still has confidence in Biazon. (MindaNews)