Misamis solon asks Customs to inspect over 800 possible trash shipments
MANILA, Philippines – Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliette Uy is asking the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to open the 880 overstaying container vans which, she said, may be stuffed with garbage or hazardous materials illegally shipped to the country.
The Commission on Audit (COA) earlier flagged the BOC over the 880 “undeclared, uninspected” overstaying container vans which could not be offered for auction as its contents may pose risk or hazard to the Port.
“These 880 containers could very well contain garbage or hazardous materials illegally imported by their respective consignees. Remember, the garbage shipments in Tagoloan Port were discovered after they overstayed at the port,” Uy, the principal author of the proposed Total Ban on the Import and Export of Wastes Act of 2019, said in a statement, Tuesday.
Inter-agency teams, along with non-government experts should be tasked to inspect the container vans, Uy added.
Uy said she had long suspected imported garbage was being smuggled into the country not just through the Port of Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental.
“The smuggling activities are conspiracy operations. They could not be done without connivance of insiders in the key agencies. As we have learned from the probe into the Tagoloan shipments, documents were doctored, collaborators let the shipments be unloaded, and insiders enabled the consignees,” the legislator said.
“The money trail and the document trail of each cargo container must be ascertained to identify the culprits, build criminal cases, file charges, and prosecute them in court,” Uy added.
In the same report, the audit body bared that as of December 31, 2018, a total of 6,985 overstaying containers remained undisposed in various BOC ports for a period ranging from 30 days to more than 25 years.
This, COA said, was in violation to Section 1141, Chapter 10, Title XI of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) or Republic Act No. 10863.
“The inability of the Ports to conduct the necessary disposal proceedings in accordance with the CMTA and delays in the legal review of overstaying containers resulted to loss of government revenues representing proceeds of disposal or collection of assessed duties and taxes due from these cargoes,” COA said.
COA said it already asked BOC to strictly monitor its disposal proceedings, conduct an immediate inspection of all overstaying containers, prioritize the disposition of perishable goods, and speed up the release of the items for donations.
The BOC, COA said, has agreed to follow the directive. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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