DENR, BOC probe garbage shipment from South Korea

admin   •   November 16, 2018   •   4355

Tons of waste shipload from South Korea | Photo courtesy to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda

MANILA, Philippines — Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) assured that they are now working to immediately resolve the issue on the waste shipment from Korea that was dumped in an area in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

BOC Spokesperson Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said they are investigating responsible parties including the consignee of the said shipment.

“You have to look the entire transaction, of course, no and get the real facts so that we can hold the people responsible liable,” said Austria.

Containers with about 1,500 tons of garbage arrived last July 21 at the Mindanao Container Terminal aboard the vessel MV Affluent Ocean.

The shipload declared as ‘plastic synthetic flakes’, was said to be consigned to South Korean company Verde Soko II Industrial Corporation.

Initial findings showed that the shipment contained used batteries, dextrose tubes, and diapers.

“I think in-accurate naman po na maluwag ang Customs kaya po tayo nalulusutan ng basura. Sana naman huwag natin pabayaan yung situation na nagiging isang malaking tambakan ng basura ng ibang bansa ang bayan natin. Kaya po ito actually hinuli ng Bureau of Customs no dahil bawal ito obviously na hindi ito dapat ginagawa,” said Austria.

The BOC says the importer and other parties involved in the issue will likely face multiple charges for misdeclaration of goods and for violating environmental laws and the Customs Modernization And Tariff Act.

“I hope that in the future our stakeholders will not be complicit to committing something like this and if our own personnel are also involved in it in any way like by willful misconduct or negligence on their part to properly scrutinize these transactions. They will be held responsible and they will be held liable for this both the erring stakeholders and as well as the erring Bureau of Customs personnel,” said Custom spokesperson.

The EcoWaste Coalition has expressed dismay over the matter which comes amid the still unresolved issue of wastes from Canada that has been languishing in the country.

“Hindi pa kasi natatapos at nareresolba yung nangyari na pagtatambak dito ng Canada ng garbage. E eto na naman at mayroon na namang kasunod na mga basura mula sa mayayamang bansa na mapupunta at tinatapon dito sa atin. Hindi kami natutuwa rito lalo na at hazardous waste,” said EcoWaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero.

The DENR is now looking for ways to return the shipload of waste to South Korea. — Cathy Maglalang| UNTV News & Rescue

P30 million worth of fake flu meds seized in warehouses in Parañaque – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

Counterfeit of popular medicine brands worth at least P30 million were confiscated at two storage areas in Parañaque City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said an operation launched on January 5, 2022 yielded the seizure of counterfeit medicines such as Biogesic, Neozep, Bioflu, Immunpro, Ivermectin, Phenokinon F Injection, Medicol, Planax, Alaxan FR, MX3 and others.

Customs said that certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Unilab Pharmaceuticals, the makers of paracetamol brand Biogesic, stated that the said medicines were counterfeit.

The operation was conducted by the BOC with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Intelligence Service Armed Forces Of the Philippines (ISAFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

“We received reports about the presence of counterfeit items. It’s not just items, but medicines. We acted on this immediately because this can pose a health threat. They are selling these to unsuspecting people whose only hope is to buy authentic medicines for themselves and their loved ones,” said Raniel Ramiro, Customs Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence Group.

The BOC said the counterfeit medicines were packed in cartons with tags bearing foreign characters. They were found in two storages at 7434B and 7434C Highland St., Marcelo Green Village and 27 Pearl St., Severina Subdivision, Km 18, Brgy. Marcelo, both in Paranaque City.

The seized items were immediately hauled to the BOC premises, though the inspection and inventory are still ongoing.

The team, composed of members of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), PDEA-IIS, NICA, ISAFP and the PCG, nabbed the suspect identified as Adel Rajput, a 31-year old Pakistani national, a resident of Caloocan City.

The BOC said the suspect was brought to the Paranaque City Prosecutors’ Office for an inquest.

He will face various cases for violation of Sec. 1401 (Unlawful Importation/Exportation), Sec. 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) paragraph (l) (5) in relation to Sec. 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) paragraph (e) of the CMTA, and the violation of Republic Act No. 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and its Pertinent Rules and Regulations).

“His visa will be under a revocation process by the Bureau of Immigration,” Customs said.

Last November 24, 2021, BOC said it also confiscated fake medicines bearing names of popular brands such as Alaxan, Tuseran Forte, Propan, and Diatabs with an estimated value of P50 million from a warehouse in Pasig City.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero lamented how these businesses are operating during this time when the public is facing difficulties in purchasing anti-flu medicines amid the surge in COVID-19.

“It is sad how these criminals are using the pandemic for their own gain, especially when it comes to medicines. These are medicines that people thought will relieve them of their pain, their conditions. It is unforgivable that these individuals are using people’s desperation to earn money,” he said.

The Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry earlier assured that there was no shortage in supply of some medicine brands, and that pharmacies only experienced temporary stockout due to “overwhelming demand.”

BOC-NAIA halts illegal trade of bearded dragon, tegu lizards declared as children’s toys

Maris Federez   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs Port of NAIA on Wednesday (January 5) announced the seizure of two (2) parcels containing 22 bearded dragons and 6 Argentine black and white lizards from Samutprakarn, Thailand, in the BOC NAIA Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC), Pasay City.

In a statement, the BOC reported that it conducted the seizure of the said wildlife, which has an estimated market value of P210,000, in December 2021.

The Customs bureau said that both parcels, declared as “children’s toys”, were shipped by a certain ‘Anuphop Wilit’ and were sent to certain individuals allegedly addressed in Paranaque City.

Customs-NAIA personnel subjected the parcels to x-ray and 100% physical examination which led to the discovery of live bearded dragons and tegus.

Said parcel shipments were subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to Section 117 and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, the statement said.

The seized lizards were immediately turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Wildlife Monitoring Unit for proper handling and safekeeping pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.

Smuggled spiders inside mail intercepted in Pasay – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Illegally imported spiders were seized by authorities in Pasay City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement released on Thursday, the BOC said the smuggled spiders were intercepted in the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC).

Customs said the spiders were imported from Poland and consigned to an addressee from Olongapo City.

They were concealed in a postal envelope with scraps of paper and declared as origami.

When the package was inspected through x-ray scanning and physical examination, it was found to contain 10 pieces of smuggled spiders estimated to have a value of P75,000.00.

The BOC said the claimant was arrested by its NAIA Enforcement and Security Service Environmental Protection Compliance Division for violation of Section 1401 in relation to Republic Act (RA) 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The BOC said the apprehended claimant has been turned over to the Philippine National Police for inquest proceedings.

The seized spiders, on the other hand, were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR WTMU) pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020, it added.

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