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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)


02 July 2010

SBMA to track down blue-plate vehicles

SUBIC Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is set to roll out its third major automation project for the year, which aims to create a system that will track the whereabouts of the shipments of blue-plate vehicles, among others, that will enter and exit the free port.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza in an interview said the agency will launch a system that will track all types of vehicles that will enter the country through the free port, which has been accused by other government agencies of being a haven of smugglers.

Arreza said SBMA and E-Konek Pilipinas are devising a way to place a global-positioning system tracking device on all vehicles that will be shipped through the free port.

E-Konek, which is headed by former Customs and Internal Revenue commissioner Guillermo Parayno, is one of the value-added service providers of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The Subic management, Arreza said, is trying to curb smuggling, because it is trying to promote the free port as a place that is investor-friendly but, at the same time, transparent and clean.

“Finally, we will know where the vehicles are being used,” he added.

When finally launched, the said system will be the third major automation project of SBMA this year.

By July 15, SBMA and the BOC will implement a gate-management system, under which no loaded cargo truck will be allowed to go out if the duties taxes due its cargo have not been paid to the BOC or the port and wharfage charges of the ship that brought the cargo are still unpaid.

The system has already been pilot- tested in May with PTT Philippines, an oil company, and Microbase Transport and Equipment Inc., which both used electronic-gate passes.

During the past years, BOC officials have been accusing Subic as one of the places where smuggling of goods, including oil products and other second-hand vehicles is rampant.

Earlier this year, Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales ordered a crackdown on all unaccounted Subic blue-plate vehicle that were brought in through the free port but later sold outside Subic.

Morales created Task Force “Oplan Subic Blue Plates” to recover at least 184 motor vehicles that are subject to seizure and forfeiture pursuant to Customs Special Order 6-2010. (VG Cabuag, Business Mirror)