Preparation is key: BOC, DOH plan moves for incoming vaccine tsunami

Published May 28, 2021, 9:03 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Department of Health (DOH) are bracing for the expected influx of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in the coming weeks.

COVID-19 vaccines being handled upon their arrival at NAIA. (Ariel Fernandez / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

The BOC welcomed on Thursday, May 27 the invitation of the DOH to discuss the customs clearance for vaccine importations in the Port of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) as well as the existing initiatives of the bureua to expeditiously facilitate the importation of vaccines.

The DOH hosted the meeting, which seeks to help other airports in adopting the best practices of the Port of NAIA especially with the upcoming importations in Cebu and Davao.

Also carried out during the meeting was a review of the operational capacity requirements in the distribution of vaccines in Visayas and Mindanao islands.

At the event, BOC NAIA District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan presented the customs’ procedure in facilitating COVID-19 vaccines in its entirety.

This covered the pre-clearance process; processing of documentary requirements; expeditious handling; and port preparations including the interport and interagency coordination meetings, site inspections, COVID-19 vaccine arrival simulation, among others.

A total of 12.25 million vaccine doses against COVID-19 are expected to be flown into the country in June alone, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said earlier this week.

The BOC under Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero has previously guaranteed the agency’s overall preparedness in expeditiously processing and releasing the foreigner-made vaccines.