MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Following a proposal by vice presidential candidate Francis Escudero to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in transaction areas at the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs, members of the Bureau of Customs Employees Association (BOCEA) announced they will be staging a rally to protest the measure.
Earlier, BOCEA president Rommel Francisco went on national TV practically admitting that employees of the agency — regarded as the most corrupt in the Philippines — indeed accept bribes. He told GMA News: “Subukan kaya nilang itaas ‘yung sahod namin, ibigay sa amin ang tamang benepisyo? Sa tingin ba nila gagawa pa kami ng ganoon?” (Why don’t they try raising our salaries, and giving us the appropriate benefits? Do they think we would still do that?)
But in an interview with The Adobo Chronicles, Francisco clarified that his association is protesting the installation of CCTVs not because it violates the employees’ human rights, but because the employees want colored CCTVs — not black and white — installed in their work stations.
“It’s already 2016,” he said, “it’s about time we keep up with modern technology by using colored, high-definition CCTVs, and not the archaic black and white video recorders and monitors. We look terrible in black and white.”
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – First, the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs embargoed some 600,000 imported vehicle license plates because the private consignee has failed to pay about P40 Million in duties and taxes. Then, some P4 Million worth of license plate materials had been reported stolen from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) facilities. Is it any wonder that motorists who have paid for their vehicle license plates have ended up with nothing?
To remedy the worsening license plate situation, LTO chief Roberto Cabrera ordered the issuance of temporary plates to motorists who have earlier made the required payments.
By issuing the order, Cabrera hopes to appease the anger and frustration of thousands of Filipino vehicle owners. To show good faith and remorse over the unfortunate situation, Cabrera said that the temporary plates have no expiry dates, and hence can be used in perpetuity.
Motorists who have yet to receive the plates they have already paid for are advised to go to their nearest local LTO to claim their temporary plates.
The plates come in different colors and are made of unbreakable plastic.
The Philippines’ Bureau of Customs ( BOC ) has been under fire recently for its policy of checking contents of Balikbayan boxes for taxable items, earning the ire of Overseas Filipino Workers and their families over social media.
Now, the agency is being criticized for taxing a Filipino woman boxer for the prize belt she won representing the Philippines in the international light flyweight title of the Women’s International Boxing Association.
Jujeath Nagaowa, 27, had to pay 5,819 pesos (about $123) in taxes in order for her to claim the championship belt as part of her prize when it arrived in the Philippines.
According to the BOC’s computation, Nagaowa’s belt has a dutiable value of P20,147.15. She has to pay P3,022.00 for customs duty aside from the P2,782.00 value-added tax.
Nagaowa said she fought 10 rounds and agonized as she waited for her belt to arrive, only to be greeted by a breakdown of how much money she has to shell out to claim it.
Only in the Philippines does someone who brings great honor to his or her country can become the target of taxation from a government agency that’s desperate for cash and notorious for dumb policies.
BOC also announced that henceforth, all Filipina beauty queens who win international beauty pageants like Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International will have to pay tax on their crown if they decide to bring it home to the Philippines.