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Press Release - Tulfo questions BOC acquisition of mobile X-ray equipment from China

Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo questioned the Bureau of Customs' (BOC) previous acquisition of low-quality mobile X-ray equipment from China with overpriced maintenance cost.

During the plenary deliberation on the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of BOC Friday, November 17, 2023, Tulfo asked why BOC chose to purchase equipment from China over brands from other countries like US that are cheaper and with good quality.

It can be noted that in 2016, the Philippine government paid P7.953 billion to Chinese firm Nuctech Co. Ltd. for 30 units of mobile X-ray equipment through a loan agreement with the Chinese government.

Even though the Commission on Audit later found the said purchase to be "exorbitantly overpriced" by P4.215 billion, BOC still purchased the same model in 2020.

On top of these, Tulfo lamented that the BOC is paying roughly P700 million every year for maintenance of said equipment from Nuctech. Said amount does not include replacement of machine's parts.

What further angered Tulfo is how BOC is still paying for maintenance of equipment that are non-operational. According to Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, of the 26 machines, 2 are non-operational and that BOC is still requesting to upgrade this.

Regarding upgrade, Tulfo recommended to dispose the non-operational machine instead and save more money by buying cheaper new equipment from reliable brands from other countries like US.

Another issue that Tulfo raised is the rampant smuggling of goods and other contrabands through misdeclaration. He urged BOC to address this issue, citing in example luxury cars that managed to enter the country without Customs record.

In cases like these for example, smugglers would declare items as pick-up truck to avoid payment of excise tax because it is considered as something needed for livelihood.

Ultimately, Tulfo told Rubio to clean his backyard as a first step to putting an end to smuggling. "Maglinis kayo ng mga tao niyo diyan sa BOC. 'Yung mga smuggler, may mga kasabwat o partners mismo na mga empleyado ninyo sa Customs kaya laganap pa din ang smuggling."

Tulfo kinuwestiyon ang pagbili ng BOC ng mobile X-ray mula Tsina

Kinuwestiyon ni Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo ang