Duterte denies appointing new Customs chief

Maris Federez   •   January 14, 2020   •   252

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administers the oath of Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero during a ceremony at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City on October 30, 2018. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has denied rumors of appointing a new chief for the Bureau of Customs, now being headed by former Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) chief of staff, Retired Gen. Ray Leonardo Guerrero.

The President said, however, that they had been talking about other possible personalities who can head the BOC.

Duterte also said that he is satisfied with Guerrero’s performance despite continuing reports of corruption inside the bureau.

“I am satisfied with General Guerrero, and he stays there and there are still some complaints so I’ll talk to him. Lalo na ‘yong mga tao na sinabi ko na paalisin na niya, some of them are lingering there. Sabihin ko kay Jagger, alisin mo ‘yan kasi ‘yan ang mga tao who have been there for 20 years, puro corruption ang ginawa,” the chief executive said.

The President made the clarification after a news article claiming that he has replaced Guerrero as Customs chief was published in a broadsheet last week. — mbmf

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.

PH returns third batch of waste from South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

The Philippines is set to return 50 containers of trash from the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) back to South Korea within the month.

According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), over 6,000 tons of waste from South Korea were shipped into the Philippines in 2018. They were declared plastic waste but was reported to contain mixed non-biodegradable waste.

The first shipment of re-exportation was successfully done in January 13, 2019 which included 51 containers.

“Additional batches shall be re-exported on February 16 and February 23 which shall bring the total re-exported wastes to 201 containers and shall finally rid the country of the illegally imported wastes,” MICT Port Collector John Simon said in a statement.

Simon said that once the total of 6,500 tons of trash is returned, the Philippines will still ask South Korea to pay for damages after violating the Basel Convention.

Simon also stressed that the Bureau shall remain firm in its commitment of protecting the country’s borders from the entry of any illegal shipments including wastes that are harmful to the environment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

PH Customs fast-tracks release of face mask shipments amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday said it has expedited the processing of shipments containing face masks amid increasing demand for surgical masks and other personal protective gear in view of the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement, the BOC said that since the discovery of the COVID-19, the bureau has been rushing the release of shipments of face masks in a bid to help secure the public from the deadly coronavirus strain.

Data from the bureau showed that 210 cartons, 10 boxes, 5 packages, and 115 pieces of face/surgical masks were released from January to February 2020.

In Port of Davao, there were 210 cartons and 5 packages of face/surgical masks released in January 2020.

“Another 10 boxes and 115 pieces of face/surgical masks were also released on February 12, 2020 from the Port of NAIA,” the BOC said.

“The improved processing of importations of face masks is part of the Bureau’s commitment to serve public interest and provide them with immediate assistance and support as it continues to perform its mandate of facilitating trade, strengthening border protection and collecting revenues,” it added.

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