Bureau of Customs and Border Protection said the main focus of the bureau has been to detect and stop criminal networks operating at the borders.

In last week, Senate Ways and Means Committee oversight and budget hearing with the Ministry of Finance, Director John Tarkong told senators that it is the agency’s priority to curtail criminal elements such from entering the country. 

“Our main focus has been to detect and stop criminal networks operating at the border that has been the priority for our bureau, to disrupt the smuggling of drugs and other illegal goods that may arrive,” he said.

He said the bureau is aiming at enhancing border protection and security, improve revenue collection and compliance, promote trade and travel, facilitation, and of course implement organizational reforms and modernizations.

Tarkong also said the bureau has been asking for an increase of about $2 million compared to the last budget in Fiscal Year 2023, which will be about 14 percent increase. 

He said the increase, if approved will go to high speed internet, with most digitalization being implemented.

Tarkong also added the rising fuel costs and the need to replace old bear vehicles and providing hazardous pay to the workers. 

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