By Ariel Fernandez
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will create a legal team which will review the possibility of donating more than 800 secondhand vehicles that were seized inside the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) due to a government ban on the importation of vehicles.
The Supreme Court earlier upheld the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 156 which prohibits the importation of secondhand vehicles into the country in order to strengthen the local automotive industry and to deter smuggling.
In his report during the BOC Executive Committee Meeting (EXECOM) on August 19, 2019, District Collector Arienito Claveria of the Port of Aparri, Cagayan said that the Bureau has to coordinate with CEZA management as to the disposition of the said vehicles that have been seized and stocked within the facilities of CEZA.
President Duterte earlier said that he planned to have the seized vehicles distributed to various government agencies rather than having them destroyed. The announcement was made to address the need of various government agencies especially those that are located in far flung areas.
Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco of the BOC Assessment Operations and Coordination Group (AOCG) emphasized that creating a legal team would expedite the President’s order to dispose of and distribute the vehicles to identified government agencies such as the local government units, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police, among others.
The BOC said the seized vehicles would finally be put into good use instead of letting them to rot five years since they were brought into the country.