Gov't to plug $20-B 'smuggling hole'

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2013 06:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2013 02:00 AM

MANILA - The Palace said that the government is addressing smuggling amid reports that the country is losing  $20 billion annually to smuggling.
"There is a continued effort to curb smuggling… we are doing something on smuggling. We just don't want to telegraph our actions," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said, responding to a reported statement from the Joint Foreign Chambers expressing concern about smuggling in the Philippines.

Former Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo earlier said the Philippines loses an estimated $20 billion in revenue annually due to rampant smuggling. He warned that smuggling could pose a threat to efforts of the Philippine government to create more jobs.

The Philippines grew 6.6% in 2012, besting even its closest rival, Indonesia, which posted a 6.2% growth. With a report from Business Mirror