MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has officially turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the smuggled clothes, blankets and footwear that were confiscated by the agency from various ports in the country.
The items will be donated to victims of Typhoon Ompong which hammered Northern Luzon in September.
This is in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to help indigent members of the community and put smuggled products to good use.
Some of the clothes donated by BOC and DSWD are second-hand. Under the Republic Act 4653, the commercial importation of second-hand clothing is prohibited.
But according to the BOC, these are still eligible for donation through the deed of donation.
The items, however, have to go through disinfection first to prevent any health risks that may arise from such goods.
“This can also be subjected to fumigation process pa. Para mas makasiguro pa, we add another layer that this will really be safe for use ng kanyang intended recipient,” Port of Manila district collector, Atty.Erastus Sandino Austria said.
Among the items to be donated are 32 bales of second-hand clothes; 5 bales of brand new t-shirts; and 32 boxes of new shoes.
DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said, “Upon arrival of the donations it should go directly to the beneficiaries. It will not stay long in our warehouse it will not stay long in anybody’s place.”
This is the sixth time that the BOC has donated seized items to the DSWD.
Other than clothes and footwear, previous donations to calamity victims included rice and other food items. — Joan Nano