BOC cleared over 14M doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2021   •   517

MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday (June 18) reported that over 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been cleared.

During a virtual public briefing on Friday, BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said that among the 14 million doses, 9 million are Sinovac vaccines; 2.5 million are AstraZeneca; 2.4 million are Pfizer-BioNtech; and 180,000 are Sputnik V.

Guerrero said the agency is expediting the process for the immediate distribution of the doses.

He also assured the public that the BOC is also making sure that the PPE’s and other medical equipment arriving in the country have proper documentation. The BOC is also diligent in collecting taxes to fund government projects and boost the country’s economic recovery.

The BOC chair will also make sure to intensify efforts in curbing smuggling. He also advised the public to report any complaints to the agency. AAC

PH gov’t drafting plan to secure stable COVID-19 vaccine supply beyond 2021 — Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is now looking into ways to secure a more sustainable supply of COVID-19 vaccines beyond 2021, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

In a statement, Galvez said the government has already secured 164 million COVID-19 vaccine supply for this year and is looking to explore the possibility of procuring a transition supply for next year.

“Though we have the 164 million secured supply this year, we are still negotiating for 26 million doses more for our transition to 2022,” he said.

“We are now venturing on the possibility of including in our procurement the transition supply so we will not have any zero quarter,” he added.

Galvez believes this strategy will allow the government to continue its vaccination program and avoid what happened in the first quarter of 2021 when the country only received about two million doses.

“Ang programa ng ating Pangulo ay magkaroon ng continuity o annual program on vaccination against COVID 19 so we can ensure the inoculation of all Filipinos,” he said.

“Kaya dapat tuluy-tuloy ang programa and we will prepare the transition supply from 2021 to 2022,” he added.

The 26 million doses under negotiation are composed of 10 million doses of Sinovac, 10 million doses of Novavax, and six million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the National Task Force against COVID-19 said.

Aside from securing sustainable supply, Galvez said the government is also aiming for a geographical setting of population protection to stop the spread of the disease and then herd immunity to completely eliminate infections.

The Philippines has so far received nearly 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers.

As of July 21, over 15.9 million doses have been administered in the country. A total of 5,231,469 individuals have completed their doses while 10,722,442 have received their first shot.

P2.3B worth of ukay-ukay seized in Valenzuela

Marje Pelayo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently seized billions worth of various counterfeit and used clothing from a warehouse located in Mayzan, Valenzuela City.

The warehouse was inspected by a team from BOC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and in coordination with the Port’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Presidential Anti-corruption Commission (PACC) where they discovered counterfeit items with brands such as Nike, Louis Vuitton and Dior.

Also found inside the warehouse were various bales of used clothing, face masks and other imported items with an estimated market value of P2.3 billion.

A warrant of seizure and detention was issued by Manila International Container Port (MICP) District Collector Romeo Allan Rosales to the owner and consignee of the smuggled item for violation of Section 224 in relation to Section 219 of Republic Act (RA) No. 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

In his statement Collector Rosales assured that the Bureau is committed to cracking down on prohibited goods.

He also stressed that the trade of used clothing may have negative effects on the user’s health and the local clothing industry.

The operation was in line with the BOC’s intensified anti-smuggling campaign in ports across the country.

PH’s 12M COVID-19 vaccine stockpile enough for more than a month — NTF

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 expressed confidence that the Philippines has a month’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines at present.

In its post, the NTF reported a stockpile of 12,826,099 doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccines in total as of Wednesday (July 21) which will be sufficient to meet the country’s vaccination needs for more than a month.

According to NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr, the national government has in fact exceeded its target of having at least 10 million doses for its supply inventory.

“Sa ngayon po sumobra pa po tayo na 12,826,099 in which our supply can last up to 32 days or up to August 17,” Galvez said in his report during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People address on Monday, July 19.

“Kampante po tayo na sa August 17 ay hindi po tayo mahihirapan [at hindi] na magkaroon ng shortage,” he added.

Galvez said the country received its largest vaccine delivery last week totaling 7,142,450 doses from various manufacturers.

He added that the country is expecting an additional 9,353,340 shots until the end of July.

“Dati po tinatanong niyo po ako kung anong state ng stockpile. Tayo medyo maganda na po ang ating [stockpile] — hindi na po tayo kakaba-kaba,” Galvez added.

To date, Galvez said a total of 27,922,360 vaccine doses have been delivered to the country since February broken down as follows:

Government procured: 15,501,200 doses
13,500,000 Sinovac doses
1,150,800 AstraZeneca doses
500,400 Moderna doses
350,000 Sputnik V doses

Delivered by the WHO-led COVAX facility: 10,297,060 doses
4,584,000 AstraZeneca doses
3,240,850 Johnson & Johnson doses
2,472,210 Pfizer doses

From Foreign Donations: 2,124,100 doses
1 million Sinovac doses from the Chinese government
1,124,100 AstraZeneca doses from the Japanese government

All in all, Galvez said the country aims to secure a total of 164 million vaccine doses consisting of shots procured by the government, as well as those coming from the COVAX facility and various donor countries.

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