MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday (30 August) found an estimated total of PHP519 million worth of agricultural products in several warehouses in Bulacan province.
The team led by Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio found 154,000 sacks of imported rice grains and 60,000 sacks of “palay” (unhusked rice) upon inspection of four warehouses located in Barangay Wakas in Bocaue town and Barangay San Juan in Balagtas town.
The 154,000 sacks of imported rice grains came from Vietnam and Pakistan and have an estimated value of PHP431 million, while the 60,000 sacks of “palay” are valued at PHP88 million.
The warehouses were identified as Gold Rush Ricemill/Warehouse in Balagtas; JJS Ricemill/Warehouse and Gold Rush Ricemill 2, both in Bocaue.
The other warehouse with no signage was only identified as having a gray-colored gate located in the Intercity Industrial Complex, also in Balagtas town.
Rubio said in a statement, “Yesterday, we had a sectoral meeting with the President (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.), who gave a clear directive about how we can help stop the rising cost of rice in the market. So, this is our answer to that order. We have just discovered four warehouses storing rice grains and palay, and if the owners of these warehouses fail to show proper documents that they rightfully paid the taxes and duties they owe to the government, then we will take immediate legal action and confiscate the items here.”
When the team arrived, they found the representatives of the warehouses and presented to them the Letters of Authority (LOAs) before proceeding to inspect these warehouses.
The BOC official disclosed that they received derogatory information about the warehouses and swiftly acted on its verification for the subsequent issuance of the LOAs.
The warehouses were temporarily padlocked and sealed as inventory of the goods was immediately conducted by the assigned Customs examiners while witnessed by agents from CIIS, PCG, and the warehouse representatives.
The visit and inspection authority of the BOC is in accordance with Chapter 2, Section 224 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. (PNA)
(Photo courtesy of BOC)