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 donates smuggled clothes and shoes to Ompong victims
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has officially turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the smuggled clothes, blankets and footwear that were confiscated by the agency from various ports in the country.
The items will be donated to victims of Typhoon Ompong which hammered Northern Luzon in September.
This is in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to help indigent members of the community and put smuggled products to good use.
Some of the clothes donated by BOC and DSWD are second-hand. Under the Republic Act 4653, the commercial importation of second-hand clothing is prohibited.
But according to the BOC, these are still eligible for donation through the deed of donation.
The items, however, have to go through disinfection first to prevent any health risks that may arise from such goods.
“This can also be subjected to fumigation process pa. Para mas makasiguro pa, we add another layer that this will really be safe for use ng kanyang intended recipient,” Port of Manila district collector, Atty.Erastus Sandino Austria said.
Among the items to be donated are 32 bales of second-hand clothes; 5 bales of brand new t-shirts; and 32 boxes of new shoes.
DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said, “Upon arrival of the donations it should go directly to the beneficiaries. It will not stay long in our warehouse it will not stay long in anybody’s place.”
This is the sixth time that the BOC has donated seized items to the DSWD.
Other than clothes and footwear, previous donations to calamity victims included rice and other food items. — Joan Nano
P3.77-M abandoned goods seized at MICP
MANILA, Philippines — Boxes of carrots labeled as apples and used clothing from China greeted Bureau of Customs (BOC) inspectors led by Commissioner Isidro Lapeña during an inspection at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
The boxes of carrots inside six containers are estimated to be worth P1.97 million while the used clothing are worth P1.8 million.
Commissioner Lapeña said that the misdeclared boxes of carrots arrived at the MICP on August 24, 2018 and were consigned to ASD Total Package Enterprises, Inc.
The container of used clothing which was declared to contain hangers and plastic racks, arrived on September 4 and were addressed to Freccia Prime Marketing, Co.
The consignees of the misdeclared goods are facing various charges.
ASD Total Package Enterprises, Inc. violated Section 117 or the Regulated Importation and Exportation; Section 1400 or the misdeclaration, misclassification, undervaluation in goods; Declaration of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in Relation to RA 10845 or the Anti-Smuggling Act Of 2016.
Freccia Prime Marketing, Co. is in violation of Section 1400 of RA 10845 or Anti-Smuggling Act of 2016 and RA 4653 that prohibits the commercial importation of textile articles.
BOC warned traders to follow the policies and due process or risk being stripped of BOC accreditation.
“This is the result of our intensified campaign against sa smuggling…I have directed the collectors in all force actually na to be on the watch to be on guard against this kind of syndicated activity to deprive government of the rightful duties and taxes,” Lapeña said.
The Commissioner added that more than 1,000 employees have already been through surprise reshuffling in an effort to improve service.
Meanwhile, seized goods that can still be used will be donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development to be given to typhoon victims. — Catherine Joy Maglalang
Magnetic lifters discovered in Cavite proven to contain shabu – Gordon
The magnetic lifters believed to contain shabu
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The warehouse owner in General Mariano Alvares, Cavite, where the four magnetic lifters were found, was present at resumption of the Senate probe on the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling case.
The fork lift operator and warehouse man were also present. The magnetic lifters believed to contain shabu were discovered in June.
During the hearing, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Senator Richard Gordon back tracked the events, to establish how the said four magnetic lifters slipped through the strict examinations of the Bureau of Customs.
The BOC admitted ahead that the K9 or narcotic detection dogs are not capable of detecting what’s inside the magnetic lifters, because of the thickness and the way it was sealed.
Because of this, the inspection and examination team used a hybrid x-ray equipment.
Despite these efforts, the examination and inspection team in charge were found to be negligent in handling the process.
“The war on drugs has taken a different tone not only here but throughout the whole world. Itong mga droga na ito pumapasok na yan na talagang malaki ang equipment na more sophisticated kaya even our x-rays eh talagang dapat turuan ang ating mga x-ray technicians,” said Sen. Gordon. “Itong hearing na ito nakita natin na talagang may drugs na lumabas. Nakita doon sa Cavite dahil pinabayaan nila yung mga Chinese pumasok doon.”
New names were mentioned and will be invited to the next hearing on October 3.
Senator Gordon is hoping that this will be the last hearing on issue so that the committee can come up with its report and recommendations. — JL Asayo