Citizens have applauded his decision, describing Duterte as a leader who backs his war against corruption with actions.
The vehicles destroyed by bulldozers belonged to corrupt individuals as well as those that failed to pay duty on them.
They had been seized by the government after they were smuggled in from abroad.
Duterte watched as the vehicles were crushed at a customs yard in the capital Manila.
“Reduce them to scrap metal”, Duterte told customs officials.
“Give it (crushed parts) to the buyer of steel. They cannot have cars like that, but they can get something, make toys out of it.”
Although seized smuggled vehicles are impounded and then auctioned with the government taking the proceeds, Duterte said “I will pay for them, no problem”.
Also speaking, finance minister, Carlos Dominguez, said “It does not pay to evade taxes in Philippines, so you might as well stop trying, because you will never succeed”.
The Philippines Bureau of Customs seized $3million worth of smuggled vehicles in 2017, part of the $864million in seized goods.
President Duterte has made fight against corruption and illegal drugs the cornerstones of his six-year term.