MANILA, Philippines – Joint operatives from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) confiscated an estimated P40 million worth of Chinese medicines which claim to cure the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as well as sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), and medical supplies.
The Chinese medicines were not cleared with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The items were seized in a warehouse in Singalong, Malate, Manila at around 10:45 am on Friday, May 1, by the BOC-NBI team, backed up by personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
The combined operatives served a Letter of Authority (LOA) received by a Chinese national representative of the warehouse, who was to appear before the NBI to explain the unauthorized Chinese medicines, PPE sets, and medical supplies.
“There will be no let-up in our anti-smuggling campaign despite the threat of COVID-19 in the country. Our men will continue to be diligent in fulfilling the mission and get the job done,” Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Raniel Ramiro said.
The authorities will determine if the items were smuggled into the country, and if they were meant to be sold to the public.
Experts have said there are no medicines or treatment yet for COVID-19, and scientists continue to race against time to develop vaccines for the virus. (READ: FALSE: PH-developed COVID-19 cure already approved)
As of Sunday, May 3, the Department of Health (DOH) said that the number of coronavirus cases in the country has reached 9,223, with 607 deaths, and 1,214 patients have recovered. – Rappler.com