Friday, December 7, 2012

The sad story of SBMA's duty free vehicle importation

Comment from a reader on the post: What Does Freeport Really Mean in Subic?:
I know that the cars that have the plain looking license plates with the blue letters/numerals, are registered in the SBFZ and enjoy some sort of lower fees/tax/customs duty or whatever. They can be operated off the SBFZ but must be "logged in" in the SBFZ every few days.

From the Bugle: The vehicles with the blue plates are called TEV (tax exempt vehicles) in the local parlance. They are brought into the freeport duty free for use within the freeport and should be exported out of the freeport. They can be taken off the freeport for short periods with a pass. This, like everything else in the Subic freeport zone, has been perverted. Thousands of second hand vehicles are brought in duty free, bribes are paid to have them registered locally and they are sold around the Philippines. Senior government officials, like Senators and Cognressmen, after the base was handed over also purchased long-term housing leases on the base, giving them the privilege of importing a vehicle duty free. They used this privilege to bring in luxury vehicles that they then used in Manila. 

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