MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday denied that the release of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies has suffered delays at the height of the country’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
BOC said as of April 2, they have released a total of 4,669 shipments of PPE, medical supplies and health devices that arrived in the country since the declaration of a national health emergency.
“Publicized complaints allegedly involving the BOC-DHL in the delayed release of PPEs and medical equipment and supplies in order for the same to be coursed thru DOH (Department of Health) and Senator Bong Go and marked for the latter’s political benefits are false and untrue,” the bureau said in a statement.
The bureau said that measures were in place to ensure the immediate processing and release of donations.
“The BOC currently adopts the BOC-DHL pre-arrival procedures to immediately facilitate and process the shipments even prior to the arrival of the package,” the bureau said.
“Thus, the donated PPE, medical supplies and health devices, are expeditiously processed and released by the BOC within the day to recipients, which is also consistent with the policy direction under the Republic Act 11469 known as the Bayanihan Act,” it added.
The bureau explained that of the 4,669 shipments that the BOC has released, the BOC-Port of NAIA released 3,430 while 1,520 packages were released in BOC-DHL.
The BOC noted no pending shipment of PPE to date.
“Despite the circulating false insinuations of holding shipments, the BOC will remain committed, apolitical and steadfast in its mandate to expeditiously process and release of PPE, medical supplies and health devices for the immediate use of the public, especially the COVID-19 patients, and continue to provide government service during this crisis,” BOC said.
As of April 3, there are 3,018 COVID-19 cases in the country, with the death toll reaching 136. Meanwhile, the total tally of recovered persons in the country is 52.
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