MANILA: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has discovered misdeclared goods inside a container van from Hong Kong. Its accompanying documents states it contains apparels such as undergarments. But following X-ray inspection, the Customs personnel discovered sacks of glutinous rice worth to about P2-million. “This has been the result of our intensified activity with the help our X-ray machine. This has been declared as apparels, but when it undergone X-ray, we saw it contains rice and not bras,” BOC Comm. Isidro Lapeña said. The BOC will conduct an investigation on the cargo’s consignee, Worldwide Apparel Manufacturing Inc. and its broker Juan Jefferson Tuano. They might face charges for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act. Customs gave the consignee until Wednesday to pay for its duties and taxes in accordance with the CMTA. If the consignee fails to pay until the given deadline, the BOC will move to take further action on the contents of the cargo.
Commissioner Lapeña said authorities will thoroughly examine the confiscated glutinous rice to determine if it is fit for human consumption so it can be auctioned off, or disposed. “All the process here in the Bureau of Customs will be facilitated because the problems here came from these kind of violations,” Lapeña said. Meanwhile, the Customs academy is expected to open before the end of this year. It aims to train and teach new BOC employees.“We are creating an academy that will train, impart skills, knowledge but more importantly, is on the character development aspect of the new employees,” Lapeña added. The BOC needs about 3,000 applicants to help and be part of the transformation program. The applicants will undergo a 5-month character evaluation and training before they are hired as employees of Customs.