Customs clears first batch of Sinovac jabs

Published March 1, 2021, 11:12 AM

by Ariel Fernandez

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) through the Port of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) successfully processed the clearance of the 600,000 ConoraVac-brand vaccines that arrived at Villamor Airbase, Pasay City on Sunday, Feb. 28. 

(Chinese Embassy in Manila)

Among those who witnessed the arrival of the Sinovac Biotech-made vaccines from China were President Duterte, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go. 

BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco, and NAIA District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan supervised the inaugural arrival of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) jabs. 

The vaccines were processed and released through the bureau’s advance clearance process to ensure its expedient release and delivery. Underguarding duties were also done by the BOC’s COVAX Special Handling Task Force, which was composed of members of NAIA’s Enforcement and Security Service and Aircraft Operations Division. 

In his statement, Guerrero assured the BOC’s readiness in handling the influx of vaccines in the coming days. The customs chief also reminded the public to be vigilant as fake vaccines may be peddled by unscrupulous individuals aiming to make a profit from the pandemic. 

The BOC says it remains committed in supporting the government’s national vaccination program and the recovery of the nation from the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic.