Tara System in BOC still exists – Lacson

Maris Federez   •   May 29, 2019   •   2128

BOC shipments
File photo

Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed in his privilege speech the prevailing corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Lacson enumerated the illegal shipments that have entered the ports of Manila.

Among them is the shipment of garbage from Canada, and the five-ton garbage that South Korea exported to the Philippines in 2018.

The Senator said this is not the first time that other countries have dumped their garbage to the Philippines, making the country the official dumpsite of Southeast Asia.

Lacson also cited the series of illegal drugs shipments in the country despite the successive changes of leadership in the BOC.

These include the 6.4 billion pesos worth of Shabu that was discovered in Valenzuela City in May 2017; the 4-billion pesos worth of shabu discovered in an abandoned Vecaba shipment at the Manila International Container Port in August 2018; and another shipment of shabu worth one billion pesos in Malabon City last week.

It was at this point that Senator Lacson questioned the Customs officials and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as to why they resort to auctioning the illegal shipments as a means to lead the possible members of the syndicates to come out of hiding.

Lacson said in his speech, “The Bureau averred that it deliberately placed the shipment containing illegal drugs for auction, which was later bid out and won by Goldwin Commercial.  Let’s assume for a while that we are buying their story, the question is: is the BOC legally allowed to subject prohibited goods to public sale or auction?”

The Senator claimed that the Tara system in the agency still exists and that Customs officials are still getting paid for every shipment that gets into the country.

“For the Office of the Commissioner, an average of P5,000 per container plus 10% of the collections of each section/office directly under OCOM; P3,000 for Intelligence Group; P1,000 to P2,000 for the Enforcement Group; P3,000 for the Risk Management Office; and P2,000 to P3,000 for the Import and Assessment Service,” Lacson said.

He added, “The tara goes to various persons, for his office or the Office of the Commissioner, I will leave it to Gen. Guerrero to investigate and find out.”

He further said, “The MICP and POM district offices receive P3,000 per container. Each container with alert order may be charged as high as P50,000. Holy cow!”

Lacson, however, clarified that BOC Chief Rey Leonardo is not involved in the corruption in the agency he is leading, but the Senator pointed out that various factions in the BOC still continue to receive “tara.”

The Senator said that this should be a challenge to the new BOC chief to cleanse the agency from corruption. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

PH sends back over 2,600 tons of wastes to South Korea

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has shipped back to South Korea some 2,676 metric tons (MT) of waste materials that were stored at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority premises in Misamis Oriental since 2018.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the shipment was part of the 5,176.91 MT that the South Korean government committed to help send back to their country after these were illegally exported to the Philippines in July 2018.

The waste materials consist of plastic synthetic flakes that were illegally imported by the Cebu-based Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp.

Guerrero said the garbage was shipped back in 151 forty-footer containers.

The first batch of 51 containers was re-exported to Korea on Jan. 25, 2019, followed by another shipment of 50 containers on Jan. 15 this year.

A third batch consisting of 50 containers was shipped to Korea last March 21.

“The re-exportation took some time because the wastes have been exposed to natural elements of heat and rain, which made it difficult to re-bag and stuff inside the containers,” Guerrero said in his report.

The remaining 2,500 MT of wastes were initially scheduled to be shipped back in March but it was delayed due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), according to Guerrero.

The community quarantine has forced most people to stay in their homes as the operation of public transportation and classes in schools were suspended. Most government offices have implemented a skeleton force while other employees were ordered to work from their homes.

“Rest assured that the Bureau will undertake all the necessary means, within the bounds of the law, in order to expedite the re-exportation of these wastes,” Guerrero said.

BOC donates seized fish, rice shipments to OCD

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has donated to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) containers of food items that were seized at the Manila International Container Port (MCIP).

In a statement, the BOC said the move is in compliance with the directive of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to donate goods in its custody as an aid to poor families affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The donated food items include 320 containers of rice and 186 containers of frozen bonito, mackerel, moonfish, squid, and round scad which were abandoned/forfeited, and were deemed properties of the government pursuant to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The BOC said it signed the deed of donation on April 7, Tuesday.

“To ensure that donations are fit for human consumption, the goods shall undergo examination and certification with the Bureau of Plant Industry and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources prior to its distribution,” it said.

The donation is also pursuant to the provisions of the Joint Administrative Order No. 20-01 that abandoned/forfeited cargoes shall be given to the OCD for distribution.

Section 1141 (Mode of Disposition) of the CMTA also states that goods in BOC’s custody that are up for disposal “may be donated to another government agency or declared for official use of the Bureau, after approval of the Secretary of Finance, or sold at a public auction at the Port where the goods are located and published electronically or in a newspaper of general circulation.”

Last week, the BOC-Port of Davao also donated various personal protective equipment and medical emergency supplies to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and to different medical facilities in Mindanao.

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.

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