By Julito G. Rada, October 15 2018; Manila Standard


Image Credit to Philippine Daily Inquirer

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III urged the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Customs to have a closer coordination in mounting a relentless drive against smuggling.

Dominguez said during the commissioning ceremony at the PCG headquarters in Manila on Monday for two fast patrol vessels acquired by the Philippines with the assistance of the French government that stronger partnerships between government agencies was the key to winning the all-out war against the economic scourge.

Dominguez said eradicating smuggling was crucial because billions of pesos in annual revenue losses from the illicit activity could have been enough for the government to kick-start its overdue infrastructure modernization program long before the Duterte administration had implemented its “Build, Build, Build” initiative.

“Being an archipelago with twice the coastline of the United States, we have long been vulnerable to smuggling activities. There is no way to accurately estimate the cumulative amount of revenues denied government coffers,” he said.