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BOC probes P1 billion ‘smuggled’ rice unloaded at Iloilo port

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
BOC probes P1 billion âsmuggledâ rice unloaded at Iloilo port
Bureau of Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz called for the probe after receiving reports that BOC officials in Iloilo gave the go-signal to unload 38,400 metric tons of rice that arrived in the country from Aug. 4 to 13.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz has ordered an investigation into four rice shipments worth more than P1 billion that arrived from Vietnam on board 20 vessels at the Port of Iloilo.

Ruiz called for the probe after receiving reports that BOC officials in Iloilo gave the go-signal to unload 38,400 metric tons of rice that arrived in the country from Aug. 4 to 13.

He said the BOC is coordinating with various stakeholders involved in the inspection of the shipments, such as the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture and Societe Generale de Surveillance.

“Rest assured that the public will be informed of the outcome of the investigation,” Ruiz said.

BOC-Port of Iloilo district collector Ciriaco Ugay vehemently denied allegations of rice smuggling at the Iloilo port, saying the rice importation was above board.

He said the Port of Iloilo has ”no history of rice smuggling.”

The BOC-Collection District 6 said the questioned rice shipments were covered with clearances and permits issued by the BPI in compliance with Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.

It said the importations have total duties and taxes and other charges of P83.3 million that ”greatly contributed to the August 2022 revenue collection of the port.” – Jennifer Rendon

BOC

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