THE Department of Finance (DOF) hailed Tuesday the Bureau of Customs (BOC) based at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) for its intensified efforts to help protect the country from the drug scourge.

During the past two quarters, the DOF said in a statement that BOC-Naia was able to significantly enhance its revenue collections, intercept the entry into the country of some P242 million-worth of high-grade cocaine at the Naia, along with other types of narcotics and illegal substances, and apprehend devices and paraphernalia used for money laundering and illegal gambling.

Year-on-year collections of the BOC-Naia went up by 28 percent from P1.36 billion in 2015 to P1.9 billion in 2016, according to a report by the BOC to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Actual collections amounted to P8.3 billion in the third quarter and P8.4 billion in the fourth quarter, said this BOC unit in its report to Dominguez.

For the entire year, the BOC-Naia's collections have already reached P33.7 billion as of the third week of December 2016 which is 93.8 percent of the full-year target of P36.12 billion.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon also issued a new order covering the Naia Collection District III, which now requires accredited public bonded warehouses to provide the BOC the necessary tools and equipment, such as X-ray machines, CCTVs, and computers, to enhance its revenue collection and strengthen enforcement initiatives.

Cash collections with monetized currencies seized by the BOC from different airline passengers since January 2016 have reached P33.7 billion.

The BOC-Naia also created an Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Lane at the Naia International Passenger Terminals 1, 2 and 3 in line with the thrust of the present administration to further assist and to provide hassle-free clearance for arriving OFWs.

Dominguez had lauded the BOC-Naia for its successive arrests of suspected drug couriers with the help of airport and drug enforcement authorities at the Naia. (SDR/Sunnex)