BOC assures to restore majority of files destroyed by fire
by UNTV News | Posted on Saturday, 23 February 2019 03:47 PM
(UPDATED) The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Manila will temporarily transfer its operations to the Customs’ gymnasium in South Harbor, Manila after a huge fire razed its building on Friday night.
Customs District Collector Rhea Gregorio on Saturday said the operations of the Formal Entry Division of the Port of Manila (POM) will be moved to the BOC’s gymnasium to ensure that its services will not be disrupted.
The fire that started around 9 p.m. at BOC’s POM building on Friday destroyed the third and fourth floors of the building, according to Gregorio.
She added that officials are hoping that the fire incident would not lead to delays in the release of shipments.
The BOC-Manila is currently coordinating with Asian Terminals Inc., and other nearby government offices, particularly the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to temporarily use their facilities to continue their operations.
Gregorio also assured the public that while the hard copies of the documents have been destroyed by the fire, they would be able to restore majority of their records in time.
This is through their computerized system and the duplicate copies of some of the documents.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the blaze was put out at around 7 a.m. Saturday. Investigators are yet to provide details about the extent of the damage and the cause of fire. — Robie de Guzman
by UNTV News | Posted on Saturday, 23 February 2019 10:34 AM
MANILA, Philippines — Flames engulfed the Bureau of Customs building at the Port of Manila on Friday night, February 22.
At least 30 firetrucks and several ambulances rushed to the site to battle the fire, according to BOC spokesperson, Erastus Austria.
“[We are] still determining [from] which office the fire originated,” Austria said in a series of messages sent to reporters.
“We are securing our personnel as of the moment,” he added.
The fire, which started around 9 p.m., reached fifth alarm past 10 p.m., according to the Bureau of Fire Protection Manila.
Meanwhile, a lawmaker urged Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to conduct an in-depth investigation into the incident.
Misamis Oriental Second district Representative Juliet Uy, said in a statement that Año should assign the best arson investigators on the case to thoroughly and scientifically investigate the cause of the fire.
“Given the notoriety of the Bureau of Customs for graft and corruption, it is understandable for the public to be skeptical about the cause of fire that has razed the offices of the Bureau of Customs at the Manila Bay Port Area,” the statement read.
“Their investigation must be meticulous, thorough and scientific,” she added.
Uy, a member of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety, also expressed hope that the fire will cause only minimal disruptions in BOC operations, especially at the Port Area which involves the business sector and the flow of goods in and out of the Manila harbor.
“Perhaps some of the operations can be transferred to the Manila International Container Port,”she suggested. “Maybe, if necessary, some shipments can be diverted to the Subic Bay or Batangas Port,” she concluded.
DILG Sec. Año has yet to issue any comment on the matter. — Robie de Guzman
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Friday, 1 February 2019 11:14 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Tight customs screening yielded millions of pesos worth of fake branded goods and a luxury car in two separate operations by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
A shipment, which arrived in the country on December 17, 2018, was declared to contain a forklift, a diesel engine and various household goods.
But the x-ray machine revealed what’s truly inside the shipment — a luxury sports car and a truck.
It was shipped from Japan and consigned to Pulilan Motors Truck Rebuilding.
BOC Spokesperson Atty. Erastus Dino Austria said they might destroy or auction the seized vehicles depending on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We can auction it and the proceeds will be in favor of the government,” Austria said.
The owner of the shipment and customs broker Tomas James delos Santos are now facing charges for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Meanwhile, customs agents inspected two units inside a warehouse of clothes in Binondo, Manila.
Authorities discovered some fake or imitations of a signature clothing brand being manufactured in the area.
Authorities were able to raid the warehouse after a representative of the known sports brand tipped the information.
Around 2,5000 sacks of various fake branded apparel valued at P700 million were seized by authorities.
The BOC continues its investigation to arrest the person responsible for such illegal manufacture of goods in violation of Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
“After ma-process ito ang ginagawa natin dito is destruction. Kasi nga hindi pwedeng auction, hindi rin pwedeng i-donate kasi considering na these are fake items,” explained Customs commissioner Guerrero.
“If these are allowed to end up in the hands of consumers, this will greatly affect ang mga brand owners,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Thursday, 31 January 2019 01:28 PM
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) renewed its partnership with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in a new memorandum of agreement on strengthening drive against illegal drugs.
Last year, the two agencies were in hot water when linked to the billion-pesos shabu controversy.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero led the MOA signing on Thursday to strengthen the two agencies’ cooperation against illegal drugs.
They agreed to conduct a monthly regular meeting to discuss operational matters and to strengthen strategic planning towards accomplishing their mandate.
Aside from amendments in the earlier MOA signed on September 10, 2010, the new agreement provides PDEA the authority to conduct anti-drug operations as well as the investigations of seized illegal drugs and other controlled precursors and essential chemicals hauled from BOC inspections.
The MOA will also require deployment of Customs anti-illegal drug task force personnel.
The agreement also gives authority to PDEA to change or remove from post personnel who will be proven involved in illegal drug activities.
Also highlighted in the agreement is PDEA’s new power to conduct random inspection on cargoes and shipping vessels.
“(The) Bureau of Customs and PDEA will have a better intelligence information sharing not all intelligence and information emanates from PDEA. There are also information coming from international counterparts that directly gives it to Bureau of Customs,” Aquino explained.
“We at the Bureau of Customs admit that we have weaknesses and gaps in our current system and that is the reason why some illegal contraband were able to enter (sa) ating territory,” Customs chief Guerrero said,
“But with the support ng ating agencies such as the PDEA, we feel that we have a strong partner to make sure that for illegal drugs there is another agencies that is focused on ensuring that these illegal substances prevent from entering our shores,” he concluded.
The two agencies vowed to strengthen their information gathering and sharing to ensure that no illegal drugs will enter the country. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)
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