A freight forwarder has stepped forward and revealed that there was indeed a “tara” or bribery system they adhered to with the Bureau of Customs for the faster processing of balikbayan boxes in ports.
In a report from GMA’s “24 Oras” on Wednesday, Door to door Consolidators Association of the Philippines Chairman Ramon Yngco confirmed the supposed bribery system.
“Kailangan magbigay ka ng tara kasi kung hindi, hindi aasikasuhin ang papeles mo,” he said.
According to Yngco, they had to pay corrupt Customs officials around P40,000 to P85,000 for each container that had balikbayan boxes. He said the bribe depended on the size of the shipment.
“Kami naman, lalo na ako, magnenegosyo ako sa Pilipinas alam kong corrupt. Magtatara ako para bumilis lang. ‘Yan lang ang hinahabol namin kasi mga balikbayan yan,” he said.
Customs also recently increased taxes for containers from the US from P80,000 to P120,000.
“Okay lang sa akin taasan ‘yung tax up to P200,000 puwede kaya lang dapat bawasan niyo ‘yung tara niyo,” Yngco said.
Top Customs officials were not immediately available for comment as of posting time. The Bureau has come under fire from the public over a plan to do random physical inspections of balikbayan boxes. The plan has since been shelved.
Source: Drei Medina/JST, GMA News