BOC to speed up auction of overstaying goods in Manila ports

Natashya Gutierrez
BOC to speed up auction of overstaying goods in Manila ports
The auction is the newest measure undertaken by the Bureau of Customs to ease port congestion

MANILA, Philippines – On the second day of truckers’ protests decrying port congestion, Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla announced a new strategy: Speed up the public auction of overstaying imported goods.

On Tuesday, August 12, Sevilla told stakeholders that there are 4,000 container vans of imported goods overstaying at the Port of Manila (POM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

“We are now identifying each container van that can be moved (out of the ports) and which are not,” Sevilla said.


He said 1,600 container vans will be auctioned off, and of this number, 1,400 contain rice. Sevilla said the auction will be sped up since the price of rice is increasing.

The rest, once cleared by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), will be transferred out of the ports.

Items to be auctioned include electric fans, electric bikes, drill machines and steel pipes obtained from 44 container vans at the POM, and computer parts and accessories, sodium nitrate and coated paper stored for over a year in vans at the MICP.

The announcement comes a day after truckers and brokers complained of the inaction of the government to decongest Manila ports, worsened by a truck ban imposed in the city to address the problem of traffic jams.

After this was implemented, empty container vans owned by shipping lines occupied 50% of the container yards, which caused the congestion at the ports. The truck ban also caused a decline in cargo volume at ports.

Sevilla’s move is the latest measure by the government to ease port congestion.

Aside from the auction, the BOC is also using ports in Batangas and Subic, leasing holding areas to store empty containers, and conducting regular operations even on weekends to speed up unloading of cargo.

Malacañang has vowed port decongestion by mid-August.

Protesters, however, said they would not stop until the problem of port congestion is resolved.

Concerned about the adverse impact of the congestion at two of the major ports in Metro Manila, the Senate is set to conduct an inquiry aimed at finding solutions to what could be a potential crisis starting on Wednesday, August 13.

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