THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has beefed up coordination efforts with other concerned agencies in a bid to stop smuggling in Zamboanga City.
BoC-Zamboanga District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte, Jr., acting on Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar’s instructions to clear this city of smuggling, said his office has instituted various measures and plans to stop smuggling of contraband including illegal drugs.
Barte said the measures include the creation of an inter-agency anti-smuggling Viber group to ensure proper communication; stopping the issuance of BoC receipts in the Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) areas; requesting presence of media during apprehensions; and, the conduct of inventories and information campaign among stakeholders.
Barte said that due to lack of personnel, his office has coordinated with government agencies to include the Office of the Mayor, Zamboanga City Police Office, Joint Task Force Zamboanga, Philippine Navy, Philippine Marines, Philippine Army, Marina-9, National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime
Police, Military Intelligence Group-9, BOC-Enforcement and Security Service and BOC-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service to strengthen information-
sharing, coordination, linkages as well as apprehension and other measures to combat smuggling. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)