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News Briefs: July 20, 2019

/ 05:10 AM July 20, 2019

BOC files smuggling charges vs importer, broker

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed on Friday smuggling charges against an importer and broker for misdeclaration and falsification of documents after they attempted to smuggle into the Port of Cebu four luxury cars which were declared as car accessories. Importer Melanie Yason Serrano of Kyleman General Merchandise and broker Erwin Roy Vito Rojas squeezed four luxury cars into a single container to avoid paying the right taxes. Customs assistant commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla said that when the shipment was  inspected, it was found to contain a Range Rover, a Mercedes-Benz, a Porsche 911 and an Alpha Romero. In total, these brand-new cars shipped from Japan cost around $569,000 (P29 million). Maronilla said the cars were carefully placed that one was even hanging over the other cars. Because of this, he added that the importer avoided P35 million in duties and taxes as she only paid P115,000. —JOVIC YEE

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DOTr allowed used of hatchbacks for public transport

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday finally signed a department order permanently allowing hatchbacks for public transport, hopefully ending the weekslong standoff between transport regulators and ride-hailing drivers’ groups. Assistant Transport Secretary For Communications Goddes Libiran said the order would apply to all hatchback drivers who sought accreditation from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier ordered the LTFRB to implement Memorandum Circular No. 2018-005, which allowed hatchbacks to operate as transport network vehicle service units until 2021, but only in Metro Manila and on a cheaper fare. —KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING

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QC monitoring villages with high number of dengue cases

After the Department of Health (DOH) declared a national dengue alert on Monday, the Quezon City government said it was closely monitoring the top 10 barangays with the highest number of dengue cases. These barangays are Payatas A and B, Commonwealth, Batasan, Fairview, Kamuning, Tatalon, Pasong Tamo, Tandang Sora, Bagong Silangan and Bagbag. While the city health office recorded a lower number of dengue cases in the first seven months of 2019 compared to the last two years, Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city government  had made sure that rapid diagnostics tests or NS1 would always be available in health centers. The city health office had recorded 2,218 dengue cases, with 19 deaths, from January to July 13. —MARIEJO S. RAMOS

Isko to revive ‘Kadiwa-like’ stores in Manila

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is reviving community stores akin to the “Kadiwa” outlets operated during the time of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos to help the city’s poor. The program, to be launched on Monday, will be held in coordination with the Department of  Agriculture (DA). The DA has volunteered to bring farmers, raisers and fisherfolk to sell their produce to consumers in the city at reasonable prices. During the ’70s,  mobile Kadiwa stores went around the city to sell basic commodities, such as rice, meat, fish, and vegetables to poor residents. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said there would be no need for middlemen since local producers would be directly linked up with consumers. —KARL R. OCAMPO

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TAGS: dengue, DoTr, hatchbacks, imports, Philippine News, Port of Cebu, Smuggling
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