The Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport marked its 59th year with outstanding performance in law enforcement through series of operations which resulted in seizures of contraband in large quantities, including prohibited drugs worth more than half a billion pesos.
From March 2018 to August 2019, Customs NAIA made 49 seizures of drugs—shabu, marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine—worth P531 million mostly smuggled from the United States, China and European countries.
District Collector Carmelita Talusan vowed she and her men would continue and intensify the bureau’s campaign against the illegal entry of prohibited drugs and other contraband even there are risks involved.
“We just focus and we know what our function regardless of the risk and threats. We just focus on our jobs and we are also doing this for the good of our country,” she said.
Within a year, Talusan’s team of operatives also intercepted a total of 30,652 kilos of meat and meat products to prevent the African Swine Fever outbreak and 3,084 live endangered species at the airport.
The apprehension of smuggled wildlife were earlier cited by different international media organizations.
Customs agents at the NAIA confiscated 400 pieces of concealed live ammunitions, 10 pistols and 46 pieces of gun parts; and P15 million worth of mobile phones and gadgets without valid permits and proper documents.
Two aircraft, including a Skyjet plane, were also placed under Customs NAIA custody for not paying more than P90 million in duties and taxes to the government.
“The [NAIA] Port is not only after hitting the revenue target but also protecting the borders,” said Talusan.
The 2018 excellent performance of Customs NAIA was commended by Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero in February. Guerrero gave the district a special award as “The Port with the Most Number of Border Control Seizures for the Year 2018.”
Talusan said their intensified campaign against smuggled goods and dangerous items is in support of the reform programs and the 10-point priority agenda of Guerrero.
The Customs chief came up with a 10-point priority program for 2019 to further strengthen the agency and implement operational efficiencies.