BOC readies for COVID-19 vaccine arrival

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 25, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — To ensure the smooth processing of the importation of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, the Bureau of Customs-Subport of Mactan has set up a one-stop-shop at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Collector Gerardo Campo of the Subport of Mactan said the one-stop-shop is manned by the personnel of BOC, Department of Health, and the Food and Drugs Administration.

The composite team is tasked to monitor and facilitate the fast processing and releasing of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as it arrives in Cebu.

“The purpose of the OSS is to ensure nga ang pag-release aning COVID vaccines is paspas ug walay delay from the plane side upon unloading/discharging derecho na sa designated van and deliver it ASAP to the consignee’s facility or storage facility,” Campo told The Freeman.

In anticipation of the importation of COVID-19 vaccines, Campo met with the representatives of FDA and DOH in order to ensure smooth and proper pre-arrival process for the direct importation of the said vaccines.

The BOC stations at the Ninoy Aquino International, Port of Davao, and Port of Cebu has already conducted an inter-port meeting to ensure that the country’s airports in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are fully prepared of the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In a separate statement, BOC said that the pre-clearance process, documentary requirements for importation and donation, expedite handling, and logistical challenges, were all comprehensively discussed during the meeting to ensure that a uniform protocol will be implemented in all ports.

Cebu District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin Mendoza assured that they are prepared to expedite the processes for the entry of COVID vaccines.

“The Bureau of Customs thru the guidance and directives of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero will continue to organize inter-port meetings to guarantee the overall readiness of the Bureau of Customs for the arrival of the sought-after vaccines,” BOC’s statement reads. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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