BOC seizes P1.6-M worth of high-grade marijuana at NAIA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 9, 2019   •   230

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted 973 grams of suspected high-grade marijuana at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on December 6.

The suspected high-grade marijuana came from the United States and has an estimated value of P1.6 million.

According to a statement by the BOC on their social media, the parcel declared as “Marvel Comic and Child Sleeping Bag” was intercepted by NAIA customs frontliners and operatives in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“The apprehended item was consigned to a certain individual from Taguig city and was found to contain three (3) vacuum sealed pouches of suspected Kush weed. The suspect was apprehended while claiming the said parcel,” the BOC reported.

“The suspect shall undergo inquest proceedings for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization Tariff Act,” the BOC added.—AAC

Coronavirus scare reduces NAIA passenger traffic —MIAA

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The threat of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reduced passenger traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said Wednesday.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said that from January 27 to February 17, the country’s main gateway only handled a total of 1,352,692 international passengers compared to 1,624,698 passengers in the same period in 2019.

Domestic passenger traffic at NAIA also went down to 1,406,876 from January 27 to February 17 compared with 1,456,705 in the same period last year.

“It’s a lost opportunity but at the end of the day, there’s still time to recover and hopefully, we’ll be able to recover soon,” Monreal told reporters at a Palace briefing.

The MIAA chief added that the aviation sector is now slowly recovering from its losses after the government fully lifted the travel restrictions on Taiwan, and allowed Filipino overseas workers, students and permanent residents to leave for Hong Kong and Macau.

“So ngayon po, slowly recovering dahil sa mga pagbabago at panukala dahil sa mga pag-uusap ng task force na ipinatutupad ng task force and hopefully our local tourism will recover soon,” he said.

The Philippine government earlier implemented an entry ban for passengers who traveled to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

It later expanded the travel ban to include Taiwan but was eventually lifted on February 14.

On Tuesday, the government announced that Filipino workers, students and permanent residents bound for Hong Kong and Macau are exempted from the outbound travel ban “subject to certain procedural formalities.”

Meanwhile, Monreal expressed hope that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease will find a solution to the concerns raised by local airline companies on the safety protocols relating to the travel of its crew to Hong Kong and Macau.

Local carriers have earlier expressed concern on the reduced number of personnel if their crewmembers will constantly be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period after their flights to and from Hong Kong and Macau.  

“Kung ganoon po ang proseso na mayroon pa ho silang quarantine yung mga crew, medyo mahihirapan po sila na magmount ng flights dito kahit po may temporary lifting ng mga pasahero na papunta ng Hong Kong at pabalik po,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Departing passenger stopped at NAIA Terminal 4 for carrying airsoft gun

Marje Pelayo   •   February 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Personnel from the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) intercepted an airsoft gun inside a hand-carry bag of a departing passenger at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The suspected illegal item was detected on the x-ray screen at the final security screening checkpoint on Thursday (February 13) by Security Screening Officer (SSO) Ma. Stella Patanao, the x-ray operator on duty.

A passenger of AirSwift flight number T6 106 bound for El Nido, Palawan identified as Aira Abrina Cabailo claimed the bag which was subjected to a manual inspection.

One piece of airsoft gun and several gun pellets were recovered from Cabailo’s bag, according to OTS.

Under airport policy, airsoft guns are allowed only inside checked in baggage.

The item was seized and turned over to the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group for appropriate handling.

Meanwhile, Cabailo was allowed to continue with her scheduled flight without undue delay.

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PH Bureau of Customs, Animal Industry dispose of ASF-tainted food products

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC), together with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said it has completed the disposal of a shipment of food items that were tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF).

The BOC said the shipment, which included food products such as pork-chicken balls, dumplings, and roast chicken wings were disposed of using a heat-assisted method called thermolysis or thermal decomposition at the facility of Integrated Waste Management at Trece Martirez in Cavite on February 7.

The bureau said the food shipment, consigned to Dynamic M Intl Trading Inc., arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MCIP) on December 11, 2019, from China.

An alert order was issued on the container on December 17.

The shipment was initially inspected by the Customs at the Designated Examination Area in MICP and was transferred to the consignee’s warehouse at Goldkey Bldg, Toklong, Kawit, Cavite for the conduct of 100% physical examination by the interagency team.

“It was seized last January 24, 2020, after the Veterinary Quarantine Services of BAI found a sample of the pork-celery dumpling to be ASF-positive,” the BOC added.

The bureau assured that the food items were first disinfected by the BAI before these were transported to the Integrated Waste Management Facility for disposal.

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