The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Manila International Container Port (MICP) aims to dispose of 1,236 cases pending with its Law Division and is implementing systems to expedite the release of decisions on seizure, forfeiture, and abandonment proceedings.
“This is part of the port’s efforts to expedite the removal of overstaying containers with pending cases at the yard,” MICP district collector Atty. Erastus Sandino B. Austria said in a statement.
MICP finished the inventory of all pending cases with its Law Division last month, and has identified more than a thousand cases awaiting decision, with some cases dating as far back as 2012.
BOC said all cases are now cataloged in a database where each case’s details and status can be easily monitored. With this, the bureau said, overdue cases can easily be identified and assigned for faster disposition from the Law Division.
Furthermore, to shorten the time to decide on cases, the Law Division dispenses formal-trial types of proceedings, and instead encourages claimants to submit position papers preparatory to rendering a decision. This lessens the time a seized, forfeited, or abandoned shipment gets to be ready for auction or condemnation, BOC noted.
“Cases pending decision poses a bottleneck in the removal of overstaying containers at the yard as shipments with undecided cases cannot be auctioned or disposed of in accordance with law,” BOC explained.
“Ultimately, the faster disposition of cases allows MICP to remove more containers in the yard and forms part of its efforts to improve yard utilization,” it added.