By Betheena Unite
The processing and releasing of shipments of non-basic necessities while Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine will carry on, while special procedures are at place for essential health goods, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) clarified Friday.
Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla said prioritizing essential medical supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE) does not mean regular goods are not facilitated.
“Lahat ng klaseng kargamento ay puwedeng i-proseso ngayon sa BOC kahit skeletal workforce kami (All kinds of cargoes are being processed now by the BOC even though we are on a skeletal workforce). This is still effective to be able to process and release all kinds of shipments. We do this to avoid the high utilization rate of port yards and to prevent port congestion,” Maronilla said.
“May mga special procedures kami na ginagawa sa mga essential products, pero hindi po ibig sabihin nito na kinakalimutan namin ‘yung aming primary function na i-facilitate din yung pag-release ng mga regular shipments na nandiyan (There are special procedures in place for essential products but that does not mean that we forget our primary function to facilitate the release of regular shipments),” the official added.
Maronilla said goods that are not considered essential in the quarantine situation must still be processed and released, because otherwise there would be a negative impact on the economy in general, trading environment, and circulation of goods.
Meanwhile, the bureau reported that 345 shipments containing PPEs and other medical supplies were released by the bureau from March 9 to 19.
Twenty-nine more shipments of essential medical goods are pending release as of Friday, Maronilla said.
Extended validity of accreditation
Meanwhile, a one-month extension on the validity of accreditation of various Customs stakeholders was ordered Friday by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
“Today, the Customs commissioner signed and released a memorandum extending the period of validity of accreditation of all brokers, importers, super-green-lane importers, customs bonded warehouses, facilities, and other third-party transacting and accredited by the Bureau of Customs,” Maronilla announced.
This is also to encourage stakeholders to stay at home, he said.