Truck traders in fraudulent activities face SBMA ban

Truck traders in fraudulent activities face SBMA ban
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash
  • The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority warned truck traders to follow rules or face a ban in Subic Bay Freeport Zone
  • SBMA chairman and administrator Jonathan Tan said the agency is clamping down on illegal activities at the Freeport
  • These activities include underreporting weight of imported trucks to lower tax payments and falsifying truck year models
  • Starting Nov 15, SBMA will use a scale to weigh imported vehicles

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) warned port users engaged in truck trading to follow rules or be banned from doing business in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

SBMA chairman and administrator Jonathan Tan made the announcement during a recent meeting with stakeholders, emphasizing the agency’s commitment to combating illegal activities within the Freeport.

Among prevalent illegal practices identified by SBMA are the underdeclaration of truck weights to reduce duty and tax payments, fraudulent upgrades of truck year models through bribery, and unauthorized expedited processing of shipments, bypassing port policies, SBMA said in a statement.

Tan conveyed a message from President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., saying, “This is a fair warning to everyone. The President told me to give you a chance, he told me to save the truck industry. The processing of imported trucks should be done as stated by law.”

“Most of the truckers here use bribes to speed up the processing of their papers. We will stop this illegal activity and will abide by the process of releasing trucks,” he added.

SBMA is in the process of procuring a weighing scale schedule for use on November 15 to ensure accurate weight of imported vehicles.

Tan said: “You have until November 15 to straighten your businesses or we will revoke your permit. This order is coming from the President, and I will coordinate with Bureau of Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio to ensure that you are all following the protocols.”

Tan emphasized no one should solicit money in his name, and offered his contact information to truckers to report any such incidents. He remarked that for more than three decades, these practices had been the norm in the Subic Freeport but stressed that a change is now in motion, saying, “Ngayon bago na, kung hindi n’yo magawa nang tama ‘yan, (Now you can no longer do those things.) I will have to revoke your permit.”

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