MANILA — As the government’s arm involved in the supply chain of essential goods, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) continues to deliver and provide services to the public by ensuring efficient processing and release of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Bureau of Customs has cleared 15,937 shipments of PPE such as facemasks, face shields, test kits, and various medical equipment.
BOC has also cleared 28 shipments or 17,463,660 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which arrived in the country between February 28 and June 28, 2021.
Of the total cleared vaccines, 12 million are Sinovac, 2.556 million are AstraZeneca, 2.478 million are Pfizer, 249,600 are Moderna, and 180,000 are Sputnik V vaccines.
The Covid-19 vaccines are from China, UK, US, and Russia. Most of these vaccines were processed at the BOC – Port of NAIA.
These vaccines underwent advance clearance process to ensure its expeditious release and delivery. Underguarding duties were also done by the BOC’s CoVax Special Handling Taskforce composed of members of NAIA’s Customs Examiners, Enforcement and Security Service and Aircraft Operations Division.
The immediate clearance of PPE and Covid-19 vaccines were made possible through the One-Stop-Shop of the Customs NAIA, and the Bureau’s close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/AI/MTVN)