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July 2024

BOC ordered to scrutinize imported rice shipments in warehouses

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to closely monitor and inspect storage facilities for imported rice and ensure that the right duties and taxes have been paid.

Marcos, the concurrent agriculture secretary, led a sectoral meeting to discuss the government’s efforts to ensure the country’s rice supply.

“Well, as per the directive of the President, what we will do is we will validate all warehouses that are storing imported rice, and then upon validation, we will then issue—again, I will then issue letters of authority to conduct inspection on these warehouses and to validate whether these imported articles or imported rice that are stored in these warehouses are paid with correct duties and taxes,” said BOC Commissioner  Bienvenido Rubio in English and Filipino. 

Rubio said that the BOC will work with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry to conduct more inspections of warehouses.  

The BOC had recently padlocked a warehouse with suspected smuggled rice worth up to P505 million.  

Rubio, however, clarified that the BOC cannot conclude if the agricultural products in raided warehouses are smuggled. 

“The authority of the Bureau of Customs only extends on whether the imported rice that is stored inside those warehouses are paid with correct duties and taxes. I cannot make that conclusion,” said Rubio.

The President had ordered several agencies to respond to rising rice prices.

The Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation have been ordered to chase agricultural smugglers, while the DA and DTI were ordered to monitor rice prices. QR Code

Published Date: August 29, 2023

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