PPA: Cargo ships from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan may now anchor in Phl ports

Maris Federez   •   February 6, 2020   •   501

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has allowed the cargo ships from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to anchor in any of the country’s seaports.

PPA general-manager Jay Santiago said the cargoes will not be contaminated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as viruses die within 10 hours in an external environment as explained by health experts.

“The Bureau of Quarantine has already lifted that measure and we will now allow ships even from China, Hongkong, Macau, Taiwan to directly berth and discharge cargoes at the port of Manila and all other PPA operated ports,” Santiago said.

The official, however, clarified that the crews of the cargo ships will not be allowed to disembark.

Personnel from the Bureau of Quarantine will be the one to board the ship to check on the passengers and ensure that none of them present any symptoms of the 2019-nCoV.

“They will not be allowed to disembark in the Philippines’ port they will be required to stay aboard the ships,” said Santiago.

Meanwhile, three sea vessels from China were not permitted to dock in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the cargo ships arrived in Dumaguete City on Tuesday (Feb. 4) afternoon but the 11 Filipino crews were not allowed to get off as they need to undergo the 14-day quarantine.

The ships are still awaiting the designated quarantine officers who will check on all the crews. — (from the report of Dante Amento) /mbmf

Bureau of Customs turns over P13.2-M worth of seized marijuana to PDEA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2020

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday (April 6) turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 11.569 kilograms of seized marijuana with an estimated value of P13.2 million.

The customs examiner suspected some irregularities when upon physical examination of 14 cans labeled as a healthy meal formula, the labels were found to be movable and not permanently attached.

This prompted the examiner to have the cans opened that revealed to contain plastic sachets of leaves suspected to be marijuana.

The items were also subjected to K9 sniffing which indicated the presence of illegal drugs, prompting a chemical analysis by PDEA which affirmed the findings of BOC-Clark personnel.

On 30 March 2020, Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) were issued by District Collector Ruby Alameda against the subject shipments for violation of R.A. No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

BOC seizes P15 million worth of PPEs suspected to be smuggled in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   April 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said it has seized P15 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) suspected to be smuggled in a series of operations in Manila.

The BOC said the PPEs were confiscated from three shops in Sta. Cruz, Manila that were jointly raided by the agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday, March 31.

Authorities recovered various PPEs, including gloves, face masks (surgical and N95), and goggles that are suspected to have been misdeclared as general merchandise when imported into the country.

“Smuggled PPE may pose a health risk to users since such items may not comply with the safety standards set by the government rendering them not fit for human utilization,” the bureau said in a statement.

The BOC said the inventory of said products is ongoing, while store owners were given 15 days to present necessary documents to prove that the items were legally imported.

“If proven that the PPEs were smuggled the store owners may face charges of smuggling in relation to the provisions of The Customs Modernization Act (CMTA),” the BOC said.

“Although the Bureau is focused in expediting the importation of PPE and other medical supplies badly needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is also committed in ensuring that goods are within acceptable standards and are safe for the public use,” it added.

The BOC recently raided a shop allegedly selling PPE and alcohol at exorbitant prices online amid high demand for such medical supplies.

PPA: Manila ports may shutdown due to continued cargo congestion

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 1, 2020

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) warns of a possible shutdown of the Manila ports due to the continued cargo congestion.

According to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago, if cargo owners and consignees continue to shun calls to withdraw cleared, ready for delivery and overstaying cargoes, Manila ports may have to shut down.

As of March 27, an estimate of over 800 cleared reefer vans are inside the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT). It contains perishables like food, medicines and other essentials.

Meanwhile approximately more than 2,000 dry containers that have been cleared and ready for delivery, remain inside the terminal. This number as of press time has further increased, according to the PPA.

“Ports, specifically the Manila ports, are the lungs of the country’s commerce and trade. These lungs right now are not functioning efficiently due to congestion,” Santiago said.

The government is appealing to the consignees, cargo owners, brokers, logistics, manufacturers and other supply chain service providers to help us address this situation by withdrawing their cargoes.

“If we continue to ignore calls to withdraw even only those cleared, ready for delivery, and overstaying cargoes, these lungs are in danger of total collapse, resulting in full-blown port congestion, or worst, a shutdown, and consequently a shortage in the much needed goods and supplies which are expected to address the demands of the market,” according to Santiago. AAC

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