Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » PH customs to drop GPS project; RFID pushed instead

Philippine freeport and economic zone locators, notably in Clark and Subic, are against the exclusive use of GPS-equipped barrier seals on containers due to cost concerns.

The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) will likely drop plans to equip containers with a global position system (GPS) device and will instead explore other alternatives, including use of the radio frequency identification device (RFID).

The GPS Equipped Barrier Seal (GPSEBS), a project of two previous Customs administrations, is strongly opposed by transport and logistics stakeholders, who claim its use will be tedious and expensive.

In a recent interview with reporters, Customs commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon said the GPSEBS will result in complications and congestion in clearing cargoes.

“I was told that every time the (tampered) containers are opened, a representative of the service provider has to be there, so many things could go wrong if we use the GPS technology,” Biazon said.

“We should try other alternatives,” he noted.

“I already told Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima about my plans and he already gave me his go signal to explore other alternatives.”

Biazon is more disposed to the RFID, a cheaper and simpler to use technology. RFID is widely used in tollways and ID cards.

The RFID costs about P500 compared to P2,200 per GPS device.

The GPSEBS was designed to replace underguarding and the General Transportation Security Bond (GTSB) in monitoring transit cargoes.

The project is also designed to alert the Philippine National Police when there is unauthorized opening of container doors.

Société Generale de Surveillance was initially rumored to be the accredited GPS service provider of BOC.

Earlier, freeport and economic zone locators, notably in Clark and Subic, pushed for the use of GPSEBS as an alternative — and not replacement — to underguarding and the use of the GTSB.

The locators said shippers should be able to decide on their own how to protect their shipments.

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