Customs chief eases cargo release
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has ordered the removal of some personnel checking gate passes of cargo trucks in some ports for doing redundant work.
Lapeña found the job of the gatekeepers from the Piers and Inspection Division and customs police from the Enforcement and Security Services redundant after a walk-through inspection at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on Monday.
Checking passes at the gates by the gatekeepers and customs police is no longer necessary since the documents are scrutinized before cargoes are released, he said.
“What they actually do is redundant, because port operators already have a working system to check the entry and exit of containers. If the trucks are given the go-signal to leave the terminals, then we have to release them from the ports at once,” he said in a statement.
This latest policy pronouncement will be enforced in four pilot ports: ports of Manila and Batangas, which are served by the same terminal operator, Asian Terminals Inc., and port of Subic and MICP, also served by International Container Terminal Services Inc.
District collectors will give new assignments to affected personnel.
Gatekeepers, whose job is to check the container and registry numbers of the carrying vessel, used to stop shipments with no gate pass from leaving the customs zone.
Where before gatekeepers manually check shipment details of containers marked for release, port operators are now equipped with a barcode scanning system to do this.
Lapeña said the agency was now coordinating with port operators to fully implement the automated system in terminals.
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