By Camcer Ordonez Imam
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted P35 million worth of used clothing, locally known as ukay-ukay, from South Korea and a shipment of garlic and onions from China, at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena flew here Wednesday and proceeded to Tagoloan port in Misamis Oriental, and personally led the opening of the seized shipments that came in 14 containers – nine vans containing used clothing, four vans containing garlic and one van containing onions.
The used clothing was worth P10 million while the combined garlic and onion shipments were worth P25 million.
Lapena said the cargoes were misdeclared by their consignees, even as he said that under the law, the seized used clothing and condiments will be destroyed.
Lapena lauded the efforts of Port of Cagayan de Oro Customs District Collector Jamail Marohomsalic, Mindanao Container Terminal Customs subport collector Samson Pacasum and subport Assessment Division head Nasrudin Guro for intercepting the misdeclared cargo.
The seizure came at a time when BOC will be expanding its facilities at the Mindanao Container Terminal.
This, after the Phividec Industrial Authority – which owns the estate occupied by the port – has granted 1.5 hectares of land to be used by BOC under a usurfuct agreement.
Unlike a donation where a land title will be granted to the beneficiary or a lease where the entity intending to use the property will pay land rent to the owner, a usurfuct means the particular piece of land will be used by the interested entity for free, in this case by the BOC.
Lapena said that P50 million was already set aside by the agency to build an edifice in the area that will serve as their Mindanao Container Terminal subport office and additional state-of-the-art X-ray facilities will be acquired.
He added that under the Customs modernization program, he intends to make the Customs X-ray facilities all over the country at par with Singapore, Japan and South Korea.
Phividec Industrial Authority administrator Franklin Quijano, who was on hand to grant the usurfuct to BOC, vowed to work together with the agency to eradicate smuggling at the Mindanao Container Terminal, which is an international hub of cargo shipping in Mindanao.