Retailers want a special window for rice imports in BOC

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2018   •   2523

(file photo)

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A total of 13 companies signified their interest to join the bidding to be set by the National Food Authority (NFA) for the 500,000 metric tons of rice imports.

The NFA has allotted up to P12B fund for the importation and the rice supply is expected to be delivered in the months of December this year and January next year.

The said rice imports are estimated at a price of P24 per kilogram.

The agreement, likewise, includes specific conditions including fumigation against pests especially rice weevils.

The NFA stressed that fumigation is the responsibility of the supplier even after the imported rice reached Manila ports.

“Iyong reckoning ng ownership ng stocks babayaran ng NFA at the quantity and the quality received doon sa pile sa warehouse na na-designate natin,” explained NFA Spokesperson Angel Imperial.

The NFA will also send inspectors to countries of origin to check on the quality of the rice imports before they are loaded in shipping vessels for delivery.

Retailers said they support the government’s effort to import additional rice buffer stocks which they believe helps stabilize rice prices in local markets.

“Masaya kami kung ito ay magtatagumpay para sa atin. Kasi tuloy tuloy talaga na yung presyo bigas mai-stabilize natin,” said Orlando Manuntag, the press officer of the Grain Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRECON).

However, the group calls for faster release of rice imports from ports to avoid long delays.

“Ma-suggest natin siguro sa NFA council na kausapin ang Bureau of Customs and then yung Pier Harbor na kapag NFA rice ang karga ng barko ay bigyan talaga ng priority para di naman masaktan yung mga exporter natin,” Manuntag concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

2 nabbed in Batangas over P600,000 worth of Kush Marijuana — Customs

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Two persons who allegedly claimed a parcel containing P600,000 worth of Kush Marijuana were arrested by authorities, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

The BOC identified the two as Van Joshua Magpantay and Johnyengle Hernandez who were arrested on Saturday by agents from the bureau, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG).

They were apprehended in a vape shop in Lipa City, Batangas during a controlled delivery operation jointly conducted by the BOC, PDEA, and IADITG.

The BOC said the parcel, which arrived thru Fedex Pasay City, was sent by a certain Nina Manual from California, USA.

It was misdeclared as “musical instruments” and consigned to a certain “Dimitria Escalona” of Batangas.

When subjected to x-ray scanning and physical examination, the parcel was found to contain two vacuum-sealed transparent plastics of 500 grams of dried leaves later identified as high-grade marijuana, also known as Kush.

“The apprehended claimants and seized dangerous drugs are now under the custodial investigation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for filing of criminal charges for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act,” the BOC said in a statement.

The latest apprehension follows the seizure of P1 million worth of ecstasy tablets in Central Mail Exchange Center, it added.

BOC intercepts 28 live venomous scorpions, tarantulas in NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday said its operatives have seized a package containing a total of 20 endangered tarantula spiders and eight scorpions allegedly smuggled through Central Mail Exchange Center.

The BOC said 28 plastic containers individually housing the tarantulas and scorpions were found upon opening of the package on January 6.

Bureau records show that the package from Samut Parakain, Thailand was misdeclared as “teaching equipment,” and imported without the necessary permits.

The tarantulas and scorpions were immediately transferred and turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR WTMU) for rehabilitation and care, the BOC said.

Illegal importation, collection and trade of endangered wildlife are punishable by imprisonment of six years and a fine of P200,000.00 under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Protection and Conservation Act.

The unlawful importation of goods with appraised value of more than P250,000 including duties and taxes is also punishable under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Last October 2020, the BOC-NAIA also intercepted 119 tarantulas from Poland which were concealed in a pair of rubber shoes.

P1-M worth of ecstasy ‘party drugs’ inside air parcel seized at Central Mail Exchange Center

Marje Pelayo   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 535 pieces of ecstasy tablets inside an air parcel was intercepted at the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) with a street value of P1-M , the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported.

The seized tablets were initially discovered by Customs personnel at CMEC during the 100% physical examination of the air parcel. 

Subsequent laboratory tests conducted by the PDEA confirmed the tablets as Ecstasy or “party drugs”. 

Records further show that the subject air parcel came from the Netherlands and was misdeclared as “documents”.

The operation was a collaboration among members of the BOC Port of NAIA, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG).

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