Home » Customs & Trade » Traders put together anti-smuggling summit

THE Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) will hold the first ever Anti-Smuggling summit on November 19 to try to find solutions to a problem costing the government P127 billion annually.

The summit is jointly organized by FPI and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc and themed "Strengthen Industry and Agriculture, Save and Create Jobs, Eradicate Smuggling!"

"Once and for all, the government and private sector will meet and come up with a holistic approach to stop smuggling. There will be no finger-pointing. It will be more of knowing the problem and finding out the solutions. It is a cooperative endeavor to find solutions," FPI chair Jesus Arranza said in a statement.

"We will come up with ways and means, the things to implement, particularly those that are doable just by the issuance of administrative orders and executive orders, and those requiring amendments or enactment of new laws," Arranza explained.

The FPI chief stressed the need for such a summit, citing records from the International Monetary Fund showing that while exports to the Philippines amounted to $284.7 billion from 2002 to 2007, the Bureau of Customs recorded only $195.01 billion — reflecting a deficit of $89.69 billion.

"This means an annual average disparity of $14.59 billion, and taking into account the 12% value-added tax and an average duty of 5%, this translates to an annual revenue loss to the government of P127 billion," Arranza said.

In addition to finding ways to minimize smuggling, the event will push for more buying of local goods.

"Smuggling flourishes because people buy smuggled foreign goods, which are cheap only because the correct duties and tariffs are not paid on their entry, not to mention that most of them are substandard. By inducing Filipino consumers to patronize local products, ‘Buy Pinoy, Buy Local’ could eventually dry up the market for smuggled foreign goods," Arranza explained.

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