Customs starts strict inspection May 1 NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Beginning May 1, the Bureau of Customs will perform stringent inspection on all belongings of arriving passengers at the premiere airport to search for any taxable items in an effort to collect a R1-million daily collection quota set by newly appointed Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina. With the new quota, customs examiners will be forced to impose taxes and duties on all items brought in by returning Filipino residents, balikbayans, and even foreign tourists. They said they will be forced to follow the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines to the letter and tax everything taxable that passengers may bring in to the country. Prior to the tax quota, customs examiners have been lenient on imposing duties and taxes on the items that arriving tourists and returning residents bring in line with the government's efforts in promoting the country as well as making the airport tourist-friendly. Tax and duty collection at the premier airport has considerably dropped after "commuters" or "viajeras" have opted to bring in their wares using sea freight due to lower costs. Moreover, daily collection has dropped to an average of R80,000 after the government ordered the customs bureau to exempt overseas Filipino workers and balikbayans from getting taxed. With the new quota, customs examiners will be forced to inspect all the belongings of arriving tourists and impose duties and taxes on brand-new items that include readyto-wear clothes, shoes, watches, jewelry, cameras, electronic gadgets, and even appliances to meet the daily target. Customs personnel, however, fear that with the stringent inspection, long queues of passengers will form at the customs inspection area and will definitely cause inconvenience to them, especially to foreign tourists. Approximately 4,000 tourists arrive at the NAIA daily. With the new quota, the customs bureau will have to collect R250 from each arriving passenger.