THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has confiscated nearly P13 billion worth of smuggled goods as of late October, most of which consisted of counterfeits, the Department of Finance (DoF) reported.

In a DoF executive meeting, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said the bureau seized P12.92 billion in smuggled goods in the year to date. Some P7.81 billion were counterfeit products. The seizures took place over 14 separate incidents in 2019, as of Oct. 24.

Among the confiscated items were P1.69 billion worth of cigarettes and other tobacco products along with agricultural products valued at P107.59 million, according to Mr. Guerrero.

Intercepted shipments of methamphetamine, known in the Philippines as “shabu,” amounted to P2.96 billion while other illegal substances seized were valued at P151.74 million, he added.

“The other seized goods were vehicles and accessories worth P67.25 million; used clothing valued at P54.66 million; steel products, P12.61 million; general merchandise valued at P9.39 million; and other products, P58.20 million,” DoF stated.

Meanwhile, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Deputy Commissioner Arnel SD. Guballa reported that the bureau collected a total of P798 million as of October from 567 establishments closed for non-compliance with tax laws, in a program known as Oplan Kandado.

Mr. Guballa said this compares with the 127 closures in 2018.

Collections from such padlocking operations also rose 125.75% from a year earlier. — Beatrice M. Laforga