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Gordon favors higher Customs budget to buy x-ray machines vs smuggling

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Senator Dick Gordon wants to grant the Bureau of Customs (BoC) additional P1.5 billion budget so it can buy more x-ray machines and computers​ to combat smuggling activities.

During the deliberation of the BoC’s budget on Oct. 6, Gordon urged his fellow senators to give the bureau the necessary equipment in order to meet its revenue collection target.

“Natutuwa ako na kinokolekta ninyo na yung buwis on the basis of proper valuation, walang green lane. Kaya ako ang disposisyon ko, katulad nung kay Sen. (Loren) Legarda, is bigyan kayo ng gamit, bigyan kayo ng tamang kakailanganin ninyo,” he said.

For his part, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena assured that not only will the additional x-ray machines expedite the inspection process, but it will also help eliminate the “tara” or payoff system in the BoC.

The BoC saw improved collection performance in 2006 when the use of X-ray machines in the bureau was first implemented.

Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, supported Gordon’s initiative in recommending the approval of the P1.5-billion additional budget for the BoC–P1.3 billion for additional x-ray machines and P178 million for new computers.