Friday, October 19, 2012

Smuggling is killing local steel angle bar industry in Philippines

I just heard that the Bureau of Customs will file smuggling charges against those responsible for bringing in illegally, onions and garlic. Since late last year, upon the assumption into office of Ruffy Biazon as chief and Danilo Lim as deputy commissioner for intelligence, there has been a succession of raids against those who illegally import onions and garlic. These two agricultural products are being protected by government, that explains why it is illegal to smuggle them in. 

Good that they are filing charges, bad, in a particular way because there are lots of things being smuggled right now in the Philippines that the Bureau of Customs is intentionally leaving out as a priority.

Steel angle bars for example. Insiders from the steel industry revealed that more than government lost half a billion pesos just from smuggling illegal steel angle bars. These steel angle bars came from China, and are being priced 5 pesos per kilo lower than those locally manufactured steel angle bars.

What's worst, these steel angle bars are not at par with the industry standards here, and are expected to really affect the structural integrity of buildings built using these steel angle bars. Locally made steel angle bars have markings and are protected by government. Yet, several unscrupulous steel angle bar importers are making a killing selling unmarked, poorly made China steel angle bars.

Industry insiders have already alerted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the BUreau of Customs, even the Philippine National Police (PNP), yet, until now, no big shipment of illegal steel angle bars has been confiscated. No one has even suffered imprisonment due to smuggling of steel angle bars.

Local manufacturers of steel angle bars are threatening to close down by November if government still fails to rid the country of China-made steel angle bars being smuggled through containerized vans by unscrupulous people.

Based on an internal investigation made by local steel angle bar manufacturers, several groups of Chinese mainlanders are behind the smuggling of containers with steel angle bars.