Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oplan Subic Blue Plates

Task force to seize vehicles smuggled by 'misusing' a law

A recently-created task force will apprehend vehicles that were smuggled into the Philippines by misusing a law that created the Subic Special Economic Zone (SSEZ).

Under “Oplan Subic Blue Plates," the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will track down 184 “blue- plated" tax-exempt vehicles that were supposed to be used only within the jurisdiction of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Although these vehicles can be used outside the zone for official business trips, these must be returned to the zone after 15 days.
All 184 vehicles have been unaccounted for since 2008, Port of Subic District Collector Marietta Zamoranos said.

The same vehicles are registered in the name of companies which have since closed shop but still have existing tax-exempt vehicles.

The vehicles were “smuggled into customs jurisdiction through the misuse of Republic Act No. 7227," which created the SSEZ, BOC Commissioner Napoleon Morales said in a statement.

Warrants of seizure and detention for these vehicles have already been issued by Zamoranos.

In the meantime, Morales designated Atty. Rolando Ligon, Jr., head of the Post Entry Audit Group, to head the Task Force.
The group has visitorial powers in all places where the subject vehicles are openly offered for sale or kept for storage.

The task force is expected to coordinate with other agencies including the Land Transportation Office, Department of Transportation and Communication and Philippine National Police-Traffic Management group for the location and apprehension of subject motor vehicles.

“There is a need to locate these motor vehicles for the collection of the proper duties and taxes and for the prosecution of customs personnel and smugglers involved in the illegal entry of these motor vehicles," Morales said. - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

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