Countless New Year revelers could be saved from accidents caused by sub-standard firecrackers with the recent seizure of Php15 million worth of illegally imported firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, that were declared as household goods and kitchen wares and stacked in five (5) forty footer container vans, by operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Intelligence Group (IG) under Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim, together with another forty footer container van of frozen meat worth Php3 million.
The illegal firecrackers shipment came from China while the frozen meat came from Hong Kong . Both shipment were consigned to Shamoroal Enterprises, a Bulacan based importer that had been previously involved in another attempt to smuggle onions into the country.
According to Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, the recent seizures are results of the bureau’s intensified campaign to monitor the entry of illegally imported firecrackers to ensure the safety of New Year revelers and also to stop the possible entry of contaminated meat from China . The Department of Agriculture (DA) has a standing ban on the importation of frozen meat from China to avoid the health risks that it pose on meat products coming from some parts of that country.
“We would want the Filipinos to celebrate the holidays safely. This is the reason why I have instructed all customs front line operatives to be even more vigilant in their jobs, particularly in monitoring the entry of illegally imported firecrackers and frozen meat products from countries that may pose some health risks,” Biazon said.
“We have also practically streamlined the procedures in the issuance of Alert Orders to enable us to immediately act on suspicious cargoes entering the country before they can be spirited out of customs jurisdiction,” Biazon pointed out.
For his part, Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim explained that as per report from Rolando Sacramento, Chief of Staff to the CIIS Director, the illegal firecrackers and frozen meat shipment arrived at the Port of Manila (POM) during the latter part of October this year. After verifying, however, that its consignee, Shamoroal Enterprises, had previously been involved in an earlier attempt to smuggle onions into the country, Sacramento undertook closer scrutiny of the six (6) forty footer container vans and discovered that these were all misdeclared. The corresponding alert orders were then subsequently issued in response to the request of IG Intelligence Officer Troy Tan who had aided Sacramento in profiling the said shipment.
“We shall be working and closely monitor our ports even during the holidays, if only to ensure the safety of Filipinos as we celebrate the Christmas and the New Year, “ Lim stressed.
Lim assigned OIC Bienvenido Rubio, POM-CIIS as Officer-On Case. Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division (PIAD), Bureau of Customs