Port collectors told to expedite basic commodities’ processing

MANILA The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has ordered all port collectors to expedite the processing of basic commodities such as rice, sugar, pork, and chicken, to aid the supply issue caused by artificial shortage.

In a memorandum, Customs Commissioner Isidro LapeAa directed port officials that alerted general shipments shall be examined within 48 hours while perishable goods shall be examined within 24 hours from the issuance of the alert order.

The BOC chief added that shipments found with no irregularities shall be released within 48 hours.

We are issuing alert orders on shipments with derogatory reports to balance our trade facilitation and border protection efforts. All shipments found with no irregularities are cleared immediately, LapeAa said in a statement on Friday.

We are only asking the importers to give what is due to the government and to declare their items accordingly. If they are doing things by the law, we do not have any reason to issue alert orders, LapeAa added.

He also directed port officials to closely monitor the movement of vessels anchored in the breakwater.

Meanwhile, the BOC chief assured that there are no port congestion and delays in releasing shipments in the two biggest ports in the country.

LapeAa reported that the port utilization percentage of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Port of Manila (POM) are 86 percent and 88 percent, respectively.

Earlier, I went to International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) container yard to inspect and see for myself the alleged congestion at the ports. And I saw that there was no congestion at MICP. Getting the data of yard utilization of MICP, it shows that, at present, it is at 86 percent and that is within the normal operations of the port, he said.

As of this posting, there are no vessels waiting to dock at the South Harbor.

He attributed to weather conditions in the Philippines on the delays in the berthing of vessels and unloading of containers in the yard, adding that they are closely coordinating with the terminal operators to be ready for the influx of cargoes for the holidays.

The vessels are arriving simultaneously and the terminal operator cannot accommodate all vessels in the berthing area. They have to wait for their scheduled berthing in the breakwater, LapeAa added.

Once the containers are unloaded, he directed all district collectors to expedite the release of shipments, particularly essential food. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency