Shippers appeal anew for relocation of x-ray to within Mindanao port

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Mindanao International Container Services Inc. in Cagayan De Oro. Photo from www.ictsi.com/operations/mindanao-international-container-terminal-services-inc-mictsi-misamis-oriental-philippines
Mindanao International Container Services Inc.  in Cagayan De Oro. Photo from www.ictsi.com/operations/mindanao-international-container-terminal-services-inc-mictsi-misamis-oriental-philippines
Mindanao International Container Services Inc. in Cagayan De Oro. Photo from www.ictsi.com/operations/mindanao-international-container-terminal-services-inc-mictsi-misamis-oriental-philippines

Enterprises at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate Misamis Oriental Special Economic Zone (PIEMOSEZ) have again asked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to transfer the x-ray machine from a private area outside of the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) to within MCT premises, where it used to stay.

In a letter to Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina dated May 28, PIEMO Industries Association (PIEMOIA), a group of locators and service providers doing business at the economic zone, requested the return of the x-ray machine to its original location within MCT, a sub-port of Cagayan De Oro in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental.

“The association will be much thankful if corrective action to this business concern is implemented soonest,” PIEMOIA president Augustus Adis wrote Lina.

Last year the group also wrote former customs commissioner John Phillip Sevilla, President Benigno Aquino III and other government agencies appealing for the same thing.

Transfer already approved

In November last year, Sevilla approved the return of the x-ray machine to its original location following a public consultation with Cagayan De Oro port stakeholders. BOC Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Jessie Dellosa later said he had instructed Cagayan de Oro district collector Atty Ruby Alameda to supervise the transfer. Since then, nothing has been accomplished.

The request for transfer was also voiced during the PortCalls-organized Mindanao Shipping Conference last June in Cagayan de Oro, where Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero, Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, told participants the transfer was doable.

The request to have cargo inspections conducted within the port area stemmed from observations by port users of alleged irregularities taking place in the designated examination area (DEA) since it was transferred outside the MCT during the term of former Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon.

The DEA is currently run by a private company under a five-year agreement it signed with the BOC.

PortCalls sources claimed the arrangement is prone to corruption with some shipments supposedly under the green or super green lane indiscriminately being sent to the DEA for further examination. The scheme results in double charging and additional haulage costs. Each examination reportedly costs P10,000 yet BOC does not derive direct earnings from these examinations, only rental from the property.

No other port in the country has a DEA situated outside the port complex. A similar scheme implemented at the Davao port did not last.– Roumina Pablo