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Money vs junk

05:03 AM March 27, 2018

Stupid is as stupid does. With reference to what the Bureau of Customs has been doing with smuggled luxury vehicles worth hundreds of millions in pesos, letter writer Rey Chavez Escobar (“Unmitigated insanity,” 2/8/18) found only three words to describe it: “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”

We totally agree and would like to add two more: Really stupid!

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And now the Inquirer’s March 26 editorial, “What to do with those seized cars,” which tried to divine the reason behind the government’s senseless decision to crush more smuggled vehicles worth about P840 million: “It had gotten to the point that the other parties were emboldened to smuggle or misdeclare their imports, knowing that they could get hold of these even under the worst case that they are caught — during public auctions of seized customs goods.” And since there seems to be no more stopping that scheduled destruction, the editorial should have added two more: Hopelessly stupid!

Public auctions should fix the price that covers the depreciated value and the correct tax due. So what has the government to lose?

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What crazy smuggler would join the bidding and pay that price on top of what he has already forked over for the smuggling?

But the real problem is the collusion with customs officials who approve ridiculously low appraisals making the sale a joke.

Thus, since no one in customs can be trusted to do any honest-to-goodness public auction, the editorial’s suggestion of “reexporting” them makes a lot of sense.

That would generate hundreds of millions in revenues this government badly needs to help fund public service, instead of destroying and throwing the smuggled goods into the customs’ junkyard. Already with totally zero value, those scraps of metal would have to be disposed of somehow — at government expense!

GRACE PO-QUICHO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Grace Po-Quicho, Inquirer letters, Rey Chavez Escobar, smuggled luxury vehicles
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