BOC seizes P200K worth of Kush weeds, liquid marijuana

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2020   •   517

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) on Tuesday said it has intercepted a shipment allegedly containing kush weeds and liquid marijuana with an estimated value of P200,000.

The BOC-NAIA said the shipment was confiscated at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City on Monday, January 6.

The parcel was intercepted by the bureau in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The shipment, which was declared to contain a pair of shoes and chocolate, was identified to have originated from California.

The parcel was subjected to further examination after authorities detected the scent it emitted which was similar to marijuana shipments previously intercepted by authorities.

It was found to contain four packs of suspected kush weeds and ten cartridges of liquid marijuana.

The shipment was consigned to a certain Xavier Martin Bulos from Sampaloc, Manila, who was arrested when he claimed the parcel.

The BOC said Bulos will face charges for violation of RA 9165 also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization Tariff Act.

NAIA reopens for int’l chartered, commercial flights with homebound Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   May 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has opened for inbound international chartered and commercial flights on Monday (May 11).

The resumption of operations, however, is only limited to overseas Filipinos who are returning home to the Philippines, clarified the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

CAAP added that foreign tourists and non-residents remain restricted from entering the country except for diplomats and heads or members of international missions. 

“Itong in-issue ng Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines na Notice to Airmen is only starting today hanggang June 10 but it doesn’t mean na hanggang June 10 ito (The CAAP-issued Notice to Airmen is only starting today until June 10, but it doesn’t mean it’s only up to June 10),” noted CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio.

“Depende ito sa sitwasyon. Kung mag-i-improve naman, baka mag-relax iyong restrictions ng arrivals ng international flights sa airport (It will depend on the situation. If it improves, we may relax restrictions on international flight arrivals in the airport),” he added.

Inbound international chartered flights will only be allowed to land at NAIA on Mondays and Thursdays provided that they secure a clearance from CAAP and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

International commercial flights, meanwhile, are allowed during Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 

Such scheduling of flights is needed as NAIA, for now, can only accommodate 400 passengers a day so as to maintain strict physical distancing protocols and to comply with the rules imposed by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in the conduct of COVID-19 testing and other procedures on all arriving passengers in NAIA.

Commercial flights, however, must get the approval of CAAP within 48 hours prior to its take off from point of origin. 

If the flight is coming from countries with high incidence of COVID-19 infection, the permission to allow them to proceed will depend on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) as the overall in charge of the national government’s response on the global pandemic. 

CAAP reiterates that social distancing protocols will always be observed in every flight. MNP (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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.

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