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BOC, Coast Guard must fight smuggling

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III noted the need for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to establish closer coordination in mounting a relentless drive against smuggling.

Stronger partnerships between government agencies is the key to winning the all-out war against smuggling, Dominguez said on Monday at the commissioning ceremony held at the PCG headquarters in Manila for two fast patrol vessels acquired by the Philippines with the assistance of the French government.

He added that eradicating smuggling is crucial as the country loses billions of pesos in annual revenues from the illicit activity.

These funds could have been enough for the government to kickstart its overdue infrastructure modernization program, long before the Duterte administration had implemented its “Build, Build, Build” initiative, noted Dominguez.

“Being an archipelago with twice the coastline of the United States, we have long been vulnerable to smuggling activities. There is no way to accurately estimate the cumulative amount of revenues denied government coffers,” he said.#