BOC to donate seized overpriced medical supplies

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 30, 2020   •   353

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has announced it is planning to donate the seized overpriced medical supplies to the frontliners of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

BOC Assistant Commissioner Vincent Maronilla said they are already coordinating with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to finalize on the donation of the seized medical supplies.

Last March 26, the BOC seized P5 million worth of overpriced personal protective equipment and alcohol from a store in Binondo, Manila.

“We’re finalizing some plans na mapabilis agad ang forfeiture ng mga na-raid ng NBI, at pati na raid namin last week na overpriced alcohol, para ma-donate na natin sa frontliners na nangangailangan (to expedite the forfeiture of the seized goods from NBI raids, including the overpriced alcohol we raided last week. This is to donate it to the frontliners who need it),” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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.

COVID-19 frontliners highlighted as modern-day heroes during Araw ng Kagitingan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 9, 2020

While the rest stay at home to keep safe from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), frontliners are risking their lives in service to the country.

Health workers continue to treat the sick while exposing themselves to the virus.

The police and the military man checkpoints to ensure peace and order amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), while blue-collared workers make sure everything else remains in order.

“I cannot stay at home, I’m a nurse.”

This was the hashtag Raul Della Eslao captioned in his profile picture. A registered nurse in the United States (US), Eslao fulfilled his duties as one of the frontliners in Michigan. Twelve days after he changed his profile photo on March 19, he succumbed to the virus.

Dr. Greg Macasate was among the first frontliners to fall to the virus. He dedicated the remainder of his life to treating COVID-19 patients.

The Manila Doctors Hospital called Macasaet a brave man and one of the best anesthesiologists in the country.

These are just a few of the brave modern heroes who served the country during the fight against COVID-19.

Araw ng Kagitingan or the Day of Valor commemorates the bravery of Filipinos during the battle in Bataan on April 9, 1942.

On the 78th commemoration of the Day of Valor, the Philippines is giving praises to the modern-day heroes.

As the country continues its fight against COVID-19, it is the bravery of the frontliners that gave Filipinos hope that this will all come to pass.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), 252 health workers have already been infected with COVID-19 with 11 confirmed deaths.

The PNP also recorded 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 7 with two recorded deaths.

Meanwhile, netizens, including known personalities, dedicated this day to the frontliners and thanked them for their valor and service to the country.

Franklin Jucaban Jr. decide to become a full-time Grab driver after the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). In a Facebook post of Grab Philippines, they lauded his efforts as a frontliner who serve his fellowmen.

“Hindi na nila kailangang umalis sa kanilang trabaho o tahanan para bumili ng gusto nilang kainin (They no longer need to leave their work or homes to buy the food they want),” he said.

Several of the frontliners have already fallen but the fight continues, and this time, there will be no surrender. –AAC

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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