Amid the controversy over "missing" container vans, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile urged the Bureau of Customs to roll out a tracking system that will require stricter monitoring of shipments in government-operated terminals, a press release from Congress said.
Enrile suggested that BoC use global positioning system technology to ensure real-time tracking of cargo and prevent future incidences of unaccounted for shipments and millions - even billions - of pesos in government losses from potential revenue collections.
He also said the government can "encourage" private terminal operators to adopt a similar system to further curb attempts to smuggle goods into and out of the country.
"By using GPS technology in government port operations, we are not only making the task of tracking all shipments passing through these ports easier and more efficient, we are also saving the government huge amounts of money every year from potential losses due to smuggling," Enrile said.
This will also benefit legitimate importers who will feel more secure that their cargo will reach their destination, he said.
Enrile noted that for the first half of 2011, BoC posted a collection shortfall amounting to more than P13 billion, citing Department of Finance data showing that the BoC collected only P128.557 billion from January to June this year, way below its P142.34 billion collection target for the period.
In his statement, Enrile said the BoC should already require shipping firms using its ports and facilities to install GPS trackers per container van.
The lawmaker noted that the GPS technology is already widely used by local and international shipping and logistics firms to allow for real-time monitoring of their shipments and improve their operations, the press release said.*