Former Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba
MANILA, Philippines – Former Trade Undersecretary Vic Dimagiba suggested returning all smuggled goods to its country of origin.
His proposal to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) was prompted by the successive interception of smuggled goods, particularly rice and onions, valued at hundreds of millions of pesos.
Dimagiba said returning the goods would minimize corruption in the agency.
“For as long as it stays there, iyong mga ‘operator,’ papasok na iyan dyan (sasabihin), ‘Boss, gawan natin ng paraan mailalabas natin yan’,” he said.
(For as long as it stays there, so-called “operators” will take the opportunity to solicit bribes in exchange for the shipment’s release saying, “Boss, let’s find a way to release these.”)
But according to BOC, the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippine and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act has no provision for returning smuggled shipment. The government also has no means to shoulder the shipping cost. BOC also believes that government has ways to apprehend the smugglers once the shipment reaches the country.
“Kapag nakita natin na may ibang laman mas maganda po yun kasi ipo- prosecute natin sila,” Carmelita Valeroso, the OIC of CIIC-MICP-BOC
(If we discover that contents have been misdeclared, that’s actually better because we can prosecute them.)
Dimagiba suggests that BOC should be more strict and apply the pre-shipping inspection system right there in the country of origin before shipping to the Philippines, like what the agency is doing now with cement products.
“Pagdating mo dito meron ka nang certificate. Kukuha ka nalang ng sample sa mga hardware to verify kung tama o hindi,” Dimagiba said.
(When you arrive here, you already have a certificate. All you have to do is get a sample from the hardware to verify if its correct or not.) — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
BOC destroys P50-M worth of fake goods
P50-M worth of counterfeit items set for destruction by the Customs Department.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) destroyed P50-million worth of counterfeit items confiscated from a Pasay City warehouse that the agency raided in December.
“Bawal po ang pag-import ng merong intellectual property rights violation [at] mga pekeng commodities. This also prohibited by the intellectual property code of the Philippines,” said Atty. Erastus Austria District Collector of Port of Manila.
The agency used crusher and shredder machines to tear up counterfeit shoes, clothes, and watches in compliance with the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act which mandates the destruction of such prohibited goods.
“This has an effect on our economy on a larger scale. Kapag pinapabayaan po ang proliferation nito,” Atty. Austria added.
The said goods were seized after its consignee failed to present tax payment certifications and other pertinent documents. — Sherwin Culubong
HOR briefs on release of 105 ‘questionable’ containers from Manila Port
Manila Port (UNTV News)
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Ways and Means held a briefing Tuesday, May 15, on the incidents surrounding the release of 105 questionable containers from the port of Manila.
The said containers were under alert order previously issued by Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena.
According to Manila Port district collector Atty. Erastus Austria, the said containers arrived in the country within the period of January to March this year.
Based on initial investigation, the containers were able to exit the port using fake documents. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is currently looking into a possible conspiracy between the consignee and some Customs personnel.
During the briefing, Sultan Kudarat Representative Horacio Suansing Jr. cited that perhaps the reason why the containers were easily allowed exit was because Commissioner Lapeña issued a manual alert instead of the agency’s electronic alert system.
For the part of BOC, Deputy Commissioner Natalio Etroma defended Lapeña saying the agency’s electronic alert system that time was slow so the Commissioner, with his authority, issued a manual alert.
As of this writing, the BOC has no report yet as to what items are inside the containers.
The Lower House will set the formal hearing once the members of the Committee submit their resolution on the issue to find out who were behind the release of the questionable containers. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
Over P33-M worth of undervalued items seized at Manila Port
Container vans loaded with a variety of products
(UPDATED) MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized five 40-feet container vans of undervalued and misdeclared items worth P33 million during a ground inspection at the Port of Manila, Monday, May 7.
The container vans were loaded with a variety of products ranging from rice, housewares, e-cigarettes to cosmetics, shoe imitations and car wheel rims — all shipped from China.
Some were declared as grocery items and glass cups but when checked, the actual products were toiletries and vapes that were not certified by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA.)
A selection of confiscated items will be auctioned off while some will be destroyed by BOC.
According to Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, the regular ground inspection is the agency’s measure against smuggling. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue