THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is strengthening its campaign against smuggling this year in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr., BOC-Zamboanga district collector, said Thursday, January 6, 2022, that they will strengthen the campaign through inter-agency approach to minimize, if not eradicate, smuggling, especially of cigarettes.

Barte's office has jurisdiction over Zamboanga Peninsula and the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, which belong to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm).

Barte said part of the measure against smuggling is to increase the conduct of checkpoint operations and maritime interdiction together with partner agencies.

Barte said that once cigarette smuggling will be minimized or eradicated, the income of the government will increase through the payment of taxes by legal manufacture of cigarettes.

"There will be development in the locality as part of these taxes goes to the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the local government unit," Barte said.

The IRA is the local government’s share of revenues from the national government. It can be used to undertake development projects.

In 2021, the BOC-Zamboanga District Office seized more than P380 million worth of smuggled goods, mostly cigarettes. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (