By Anna Leah Gonzales

SMUGGLED GOODS. Bureau of Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio. Rubio reported Thursday (Dec. 7, 2023) that the bureau has seized more than PHP42 billion worth of smuggled goods so far this year, mostly counterfeit products. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized PHP42.4 billion worth of smuggled goods from January to Nov. 24 this year.

In a briefing on Wednesday, BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said this is double the more-than-PHP20 billion worth of smuggled goods seized in the same period last year.

“We attribute this to stricter enforcement,” he said.

Of the total amount, counterfeit goods, which amounted to PHP24.3 billion, topped the list of smuggled goods, followed by illegal drugs (PHP7.5 billion), agricultural products (PHP3.77 billion), cigarettes (PHP3.76 billion), general merchandise (PHP963.6 million), and fuel (PHP716.3 million).

Also included in the list were vehicles and accessories, used clothing, steel products, electronics, cosmetics, firearms, food, chemicals, and jewelry.

“This is already the highest that the BOC seized and we still have a month left,” Rubio said. (PNA)