By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Twelve giant canning and sardine factories in this city yesterday asked Bureau of Customs (BoC) Commissioner Isidro S Lapeña to allow them to receive imported goods and material they use in the production of sardines canned goods at the Zamboanga City port.
In a letter to Lapeña, said the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Associations (SOPHIL), Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc. and Chamber of Fish Processors of Zamboanga City asked that their “importation of goods, like tomato paste, used in the making of sardines, be shippped directly to Zamboanga City Port.”
They also asked that the payment of import duties and taxes be also made at the same port.
Among those who signed the appeal were George G. Ledesma and Edgar B. Lim of the Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc.; Jaydrick A. Yap : Esmael U. Tan and Malcolm Tiu Lim of Southern Philippines Fishing Association; Michael Lim of Mega Fishing Corporation, Bernadito Chu of Bigfish Foods Corporation; and Ma. Lailani D. Pangilinan of Universal Canning Inc.
According to the group, the BOC approval will help minimize their spending since the current importation processes and procedures are doubling their expenses in the handling of their goods.
“If permitted, both our groups, the sardine and canning factories in Zamboanga City and the BoC, Port of Zamboanga will benefit from the move as we will now pay our tariff and customs importation duties and fees to the port of Zamboanga,” the sardine and canning factory owners said.
Zamboanga City BoC District Atty Lyceo C Martinez said “statistically the more importations in the region, the higher the revenue collections the bureau.”
The move of the group, he said, would benefit the people of Zamboanga since more jobs will be made available by these canning and sardine factories.”
He said the city is hosting at least 12 big sardine factories or over 90 percent of the sardines industry in the country is located in Zamboanga, making it the “Sardines Capital of the Philippines.”