BOC warns public against locally-made fake COVID-19 vaccines
Robie de Guzman • February 17, 2021 • 201
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday warned the public against the possible proliferation of locally-manufactured vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the government gears up for the rollout of its vaccination program.
“BOC warns the public to be careful when availing of vaccines as fake vaccines may have severe health consequences to users,” the bureau said in a statement.
“The composition of such vaccines are not tested and even worse, fake vaccines may not be effective thus further exposing users to the dangers of COVID-19,” it added.
The BOC issued the warning as the Philippines await the supply of in-demand coronavirus vaccines from abroad. The government earlier said it expects to receive the vaccine supply this month.
“Early in the year, the bureau released its initial advisory as the result of an article published by the International Police (INTERPOL). In the article it was identified that syndicates and other underground groups have acknowledged the value that vaccines have and are currently engaged on how to get a piece of the pie through the manufacture and distribution of fake vaccines,” it said.
The agency said it has partnered with local law enforcement agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration to bolster efforts in improving border security.
“The partnership has resulted to previous apprehensions and discovery of makeshift clinics that are suspected to be used to treat COVID-19 patients and may be utilized as an avenue of distribution for local fake vaccines,” the BOC said.
The bureau assured it has implemented measures to tighten the security in the country’s ports against the importation of fake and smuggled medicines and vaccines.
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Finance (DOF) has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to heighten its security against pork smuggling .
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III wants a tighter watch over the possible misdeclaration or misclassification of pork shipments entering the country.
The order was issued after President Duterte approved in principle the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to expand the minimum access volume (MAV) allocation for pork imports.
Dominguez said some importers may misdeclare their pork shipments to avoid paying higher import duties. The current tariff on pork within the MAV is at 30 percent, while off-quota imports are taxed a higher 40 percent.
“Edible offal (entrails) of bovine animals, such as swine, sheep and goats are taxed much lower, which some importers may declare [for their] prime pork shipments to avoid paying higher import duties,” the DOF said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero assured that the bureau has been closely monitoring the imports of meat products, including pork and chicken. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs-Port of Clark reported the seizure of two black plastic packs of shabu with a weight of 1,000 grams and an estimated value of P6.8 million concealed inside an imported Air Fryer from Sha Alam, Malaysia.
The shipment, which arrived on February 16, was declared as “Air Fryer, Silkware”.
Physical examination led to the discovery of two frying pans and one air fryer.
Meanwhile, x-ray examination revealed the presence of organic substance inside the lid of the air fryer.
The Customs examiner opened the same where he found two black plastic packs containing crystalline substances which were later confirmed to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu after laboratory testing and chemical analysis.
The claimant was arrested on February 19 through a Warrant of Seizure and Detention issued by District Collector Atty. Ruby Alameda.
He is now facing a case for violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs) in relation to Section 26a , Article II of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported it has apprehended smuggled cigarettes and medicines worth P13 million in a series of operations recently launched in Parañaque City.
The BOC said the items, allegedly smuggled from China, were confiscated in separate operations in two storage facilities located in Tambo last February 16 and 19.
The first operation yielded an estimated value of P4 Million while the subsequent operation yielded an estimated P9 Million worth of cigarettes and medicines which are suspected to be used to treat COVID-19, the bureau added.
The BOC said operations were launched by operatives from its Manila International Container Ports (MICP) Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Enforcement and Security Service, in coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“Further investigation is underway to determine those responsible for the storage facility,” the agency said in a statement.
Charges for violation of section 1400 of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act may be filed against those behind the smuggled items, the BOC said.
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