Ever since the Marcos years, the cus-toms bureau has already been tagged as one of the flagships of corruption. We remember it was the late Mr. Expose Senator Manong Ernie Maceda who branded the bureau as such. Why?
Because its rules allow corruption to happen. Simple. Even our very own retired congressman Meniong Teves has been howling, since time immemorial, why the vast income of the customs bureau are not shared as among the sources of the local governments’ Internal Revenue Allotments or IRA when the money customs earns is exempt from internal revenue coverage. The Marcos boys then were often quoted as saying: if given to IRA, Mr. President, from where shall our office get our share? And there was a big laugh among cabinet members. End of story.
What the customs need really is a no-nonesense professionalization. A Customs Academy is often recommended so that everybody knows the job of everybody who can take the place of anybody found to be corrupt. But no. This has never been done.
Then the one-time-big-time government investment of a super x-ray machine that can cover all thousands of container vans without exception—was not implemented. Today, the random test is still applied because their miniscule equipment cannot cover all container vans inside the port area. The answer is obvious if asked why.
Now the x-ray issue is again on top of the P11-Billioin shabu sneak-out shipment from Vietnam, Taiwan, China, contained in magnetic lifters which were really not used to LIFT but to SHIP shabu inside.
As Duterte said, no thousand x-rays will solve corruption at the customs because the people working inside (not all) have already been “customized” to engage in the culture of corruption which will remain forever unless they will stop milking the biggest office of the government and we do not have to tell you which one.