Car smuggling is rampant in the Philippines. This has been an on-going problem since forever, and although it will be a while before this can be totally eradicated, it is gratifying that steps to put a permanent solution is already in the works.
Read on this article from Philkotse.com to better understand about smuggling cars in the Philippines.
1. The urgent of car smuggling in the Philippines
Smuggling, by definition, is the prohibited transportation of objects, people, information, or substance across international borders. This can also happen with the same country or city but with different jurisdiction like into prison or controlled facility.
Car smuggling here in the Philippines is usually completed when right-hand drive cars are converted into left-hand drive often in the conversion bays located in Subic, Toledo, and Santa Ana.
The current president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is not to tolerate this widespread activity that is why his war against car smuggling is also at its peak and finest.
Car smuggling is rampant in the Philippines
February last year, President Duterte led the highly publicized destruction of $7.3 million worth of smuggled luxury cars. This is to make a clear and loud statement on anti-smuggling.
This censure of rustled cars coincided with the 116th anniversary of the Bureau of Customs (BOC). There was a time back then that President Duterte described this department as the most corrupt member of the government.
There were a total of 30 smuggled luxury cars that were crushed by a 20-ton D6 bulldozer. Twenty were destroyed in the Philippines’ capital Metro Manila, seven in Davao Port, and the remaining three in the port Port of Cebu.
These luxury cars are indeed the epitome of high end cars with make and models like: Lexus ES300 1996, Mazda Roadster, BMW Alpina, Corvette Stingray, a used Honda Odyssey, Toyota SW Towage Noah, Mitsubishi MMC, Ford Explorer Base 3.5L, 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550, BMW 745, BMW 745Li, 1995 Mercedes-Benz C280, Hyundai Equus JS350, BMW Z4, Audi A6 CUATRO, Jaguar Type S, a mini Pajero, a used Nissan 350Z, and two units of Pajero.
There were a total of 30 smuggled luxury cars that were crushed by a 20-ton D6 bulldozer
In Davao, it was registered that the smuggled cars that were destroyed were a Mercedes-Benz 2010 model, a Toyota Tundra, two brand new units of Toyota Land Cruiser L200, another two groups of brand new Toyota Land Cruiser V8 2013, and a brand new Mercedes-Benz.
According to President Duterte, the order for these cars to be destroyed is a preventive measure for smugglers and syndicates to stop the purchase of these cars at a much lower price during car auctions.
Aside from this, the President also added on his order that he the scrap metals would be bought and would eventually be distributed to steel sellers.
2. It needs strong bonds between the government and the people
According to President Duterte, the order for these cars to be destroyed is a preventive measure
The President embraced full accountability as he said that should there be any liabilities, however small, he is to pay for it without any problems. With the said destruction of cars, the Bureau of Customs was also ordered to strengthen its continuous collection so it can meet its revenue goals.
Meeting these revenue collections would mean that the government would have more funds that can be allocated to the development programs that need to be prioritized.
He further sent a warning to any government officials involved in the illegal car operation that they should stop now as it will not be tolerated during his watch. There was also a reshuffle of employees that happened in the provincial ports as part of the movement to put a stop on this illegal car trade.
Apart from this, guilty employees were also suspended upon confirmation of their involvement.
The Bureau of Customs was also ordered to strengthen its continuous collection so it can meet its revenue goals
The Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines or MVPMAP, a group composed of auto-parts makers commended the Bureau of Customs for its relentless vigor in keeping watch of the entry of smuggled used vehicles to the country.
The group is also in full support to the current administration’s drive to put a stop to vehicle and car parts smuggling.
Just a month later, another hyped crushing happened as the fourteen luxury cars faced destruction on the wheels of the bulldozers. Still witnessed by the President, the vehicles are said to amount to an estimated 27 million pesos.
The amount is not the least surprising because among the destroyed cars were an older generation Maserati Quattroporte, a classic Opel Manta GT/E, and a 996 Porsche 911 GT3.
There were also a few more Mercedes-Benzes and a Renault R5 Turbo. According to the officials on duty, there would be a series of these activities throughout the remainder of the year as there are still approximately 800 smuggled cars that will be eventually destroyed.
Just a month later, another hyped crushing happened as the fourteen luxury cars faced destruction on the wheels of the bulldozers
This move and continuous activity from the administration drew both negative and positive reactions from the public. These sentiments were expressed via social media, and there is a great divide from the netizens. Some feel that the cars are better handled by it being re-appropriated to different departments of the government.
Others say that destroying them is the smartest move to show zero tolerance to smuggling. Some also advised that selling these cars and using the income can be used as additional sources for any needed projects vital to improving the welfare of the people. The government though stated that the crackdown would continue.
Although being commended much, the battle against this problem will be fierce. The smugglers would really think otherwise about continuing their operations butt most likely will become more discreet about their activities are given that the government is really focused on getting this issue eradicated.
The government should keep an eye about new strategies and schemes
The government should keep an eye about new strategies and schemes that these smugglers would come up with because a lot of money is involved in this kind of operation.
Nonetheless, the government should be given a fair chance to implement whatever they think is best to solve this issue. It has been a problem of almost all administrations and putting it to a halt at the very least is a progressive step, so good luck to everyone involved in this operation.
A decrease in the percentage of the monthly statistics of car smuggling can already be considered as a small victory!
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