The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) remains open and operational even with the closure of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) office there. This, after a BOC employee tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the BOC-MICP, according to MICT management.
MICT is operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI).
“We wish to make a clarification on news stories carrying the Bureau of Customs’ statement on the temporary closure of its Manila International Container Port district (MICP),” according to the MICP management.
The ICTSI terminal in the Port of Manila is the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), where the BOC-MICP is located. It is the BOC-MICP building that is temporarily closed because of a COVID-19 case. The MICT, the port itself, remains open, and is as of this date, COVID-19 free.
In an advisory sent to clients on March 24, the MICT management said vessel, yard, and gate operations are still operational 24/7. X-ray and designated examination area is also open.
Billing hours is Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with kiosk cut-off at 5:00 p.m. Priority lane for live reefer shipments is still being implemented.
Billing office is closed on Sundays but Advance Customs Transaction System (ACTS) online payment is available 24/7.
BOC-MICP building closure
BOC on March 24 announced its office in Manila International Container Port (MICP) is temporarily closed until further notice for disinfection as an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero in a memorandum directed unaffected offices to function normally; these include vessel boarding, examination of goods and x-ray examination.
All importations at the terminal will continue to be processed by its personnel and employees. Stakeholders are advised to use the Customer Care Portal (CCP) to submit their documents and process their transactions, and to use the Goods Declaration and Verification System (GDVS) to monitor the status of their shipments.
The CCP and GDVS are both accessible through BOC’s website (www.customs.gov.ph).
BOC said CCP is a pilot project aimed to streamline its operations and automate its processes. Utilization of the online platform is also directed to augment BOC MICP’s work from home arrangement for some of its key personnel.
As a complementary workforce, Guerrero instructed BOC Port of Manila to assist MICP personnel, while the disinfection of the Port is underway.
BOC said it is implementing a contigency plan in keeping with Department of Health guidelines and is disinfecting the entire MICP building. BOC also continues to conduct contact tracing on its personnel.
Those identified that had direct contact with the affected personnel were advised to self-quarantine and will be closely monitored by the Internal Administration Group.
“Together with other frontliners, the Bureau of Customs continues to remain true to its commitment to serve by ensuring the steady flow of goods and supplies while maintaining the welfare of its personnel. Thus, the BOC appeals for the public’s understanding and support during these trying times,” the agency said.