PHILIPPINES: Ombudsman to probe air cargo graft

Customs and international airport offi cials have given the Offi ce of the Ombudsman in the Philippines the green light to study their air cargo handling operation in a bid to eliminate graft and corruption plaguing thesystem, the Inquirer reported. “We are thankful that the Manila International Airport Authority and the Bureau of Customs have […]


Customs and international airport offi cials have given the Offi ce of the Ombudsman in the Philippines the green light to study their air cargo handling operation in a bid to eliminate graft and corruption plaguing thesystem, the Inquirer reported.

“We are thankful that the Manila International Airport Authority and the Bureau of Customs have opened up for scrutiny of their system, processes, personnel and records,” Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said. The threemonth study, funded by the European Commission, is aimed at identifying and assessing the internal and external factors that render the air cargo system vulnerable to corruption.

This will include an intensive analysis of the functions, the physical and architectural organisation at NAIA and the interaction of its service providers and clients.

At the end of the study, the antigraft body is expected to draw up measures and reforms on laws on importation and exportation of goods that would establish a clean and honest air cargo operation at NAIA, Gutierrez added.

She noted that corruption in air cargo handling and services usually ranges from misdeclaration to undervaluation of goods being shipped into the country, resulting in the loss of millions of pesos in taxes and duties.