BOC Donates Rubber Boats Amidst Floods
Amidst the shortage of rescue equipments during the onslaught of the worst flooding to hit the country this year, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) through Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, on August 8, 2012, donated to the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) twenty-three (23) inflatable boats which could immediately be used for the council’s relief and rescue operations.
Pleased by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) immediate response to help alleviate the shortage of rescue equipment by the NDRRMC, President Benigno Aquino III acknowledged the BOC’s donation during his meeting with top council officials at the height of the flooding.
The 23 inflatable boats were forfeited in favor of the government after being declared abandoned by BOC NAIA, through Atty. Carlos T. So.
“These 23 inflatable rubber boats would be able to help save lives amidst the worst flooding in the country,” Biazon said.
“I have also instructed all Port Collectors to conduct an inventory of all seized or abandoned goods/items in their respective ports which could help alleviate the sufferings of flood victims for possible donation to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),” he added, even as, according to Biazon, based on initial reports by some of his port collectors, used clothings and construction materials could be readied anytime for donations to flood victims.
Biazon further called on the international community who would like to help the country’s flood victims to send their donations directly to the DSWD or DSWD accredited foundations or civic organizations to avoid paying duties and taxes for their goods.
“We know that the world shares their sympathy to the country’s flood victims and many would like to help. We urge them to send their donations directly to the DSWD and/or DSWD accredited non-government organization to avoid paying duties and taxes,” Biazon stressed.
“Moreover, I have given instruction to all customs officials handling the processing and release of donations for flood victims to expedite and facilitate its release at the soonest possible time,” Biazon added.
The Commissioner further stressed that any unreasonable delay committed by Customs officials must be reported to the OCOM immediately.
“I will not allow any Customs official to delay the release of donated goods for flood victims without any justifiable reason. Any incident of deliberate holding of donations by any customs official shall be dealt with accordingly,” Biazon pointed out.