BOC increases collections from airports with X-ray machines' aid

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Monday, July 7, 2014

THE Bureau of Customs has beefed up its capability to detect highly taxable items such as jewelry, luxury watches, designer bags, undeclared foreign currencies, and even prohibited drugs hidden in travelers' luggage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other major airports in the country.

This was made possible with the deployment of X-ray machines, said Julito Doria, office-in-charge of the BOC X-Ray Inspection Project.

"So far, the new fixed X-ray machines in NAIA have made significant headways in ensuring that duties and taxes are properly paid, and at the same time, prompted the seizure of undeclared, high-value items," he said.


Doria noted that BOC-NAIA alone collected revenues of P972,977.50 from May to June 2014 from duties and taxes paid by airline passengers on goods detected in their luggage by X-ray. These items include luxury watches, electronic goods of commercial quantity, assorted machine parts and jewelry.

Last May, four state-of-the-art fixed baggage Nutech X-ray machines were deployed at NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3—the first tranche of eight fixed baggage X-Ray machines purchased by the BOC early this year.

Aside from NAIA, two other X-ray machines have also been deployed at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport; and one each at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga and the Kalibo International Airport in Aklan. The Bureau allocated about P145-million for the purchase of new X-ray machines.

"The additional X-ray machines will allow us to better detect contraband goods being smuggled in by airline passengers, rather than just relying on profiling techniques. It will allow us to release luggage faster and improve the traveling experience for passengers," Doria added.

The BOC said it plans to procure additional fixed X-ray machines this year, aside from at least six hand-held X-ray units and four mobile X-ray machines. These will be deployed in international airports in the country, including those in Laoag and Davao.

In tandem with the X-ray machines, the BOC will also install closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, initially at the NAIA. The acquisition of CCTVs is expected to be completed next year. (SDR/Sunnex)

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