On rice seized by customs: NFA-7 refers storage request to main office

CEBU, Philippines – The National Food Authority Region (NFA) -7 has forwarded to its head office the request of the Bureau of Customs-Cebu that the 3,000 metric tons of rice on board MV Quanq Minh be stored at the NFA-7’s warehouses.

BOC-Cebu District Collector Elvira Cruz has asked NFA-7 Regional Director John Robert Hermano to store the rice worth P123 million in their warehouses in a letter dated June 6, stating that the vessel is still in anchorage in Talisay City and Minglanilla area.

Cruz wanted to store the shipment in a warehouse to prevent its deterioration.

In a letter dated June 20, Hermano told Cruz that he referred the matter to the NFA’s head office for decision.

In the same letter, Hermano also requested Cruz to immediately withdraw the 898 sacks of apprehended refined sugar that has been stored at the NFA-7’s warehouse since 2008.

“We want the subject melted sugar withdrawn immediately so that we can prepare the space it currently occupying for the scheduled arrival of imported rice on July 2017,” Hermano’s letter reads.

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According to Verne Enciso, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of BOC-Cebu, as of 2016, NFA billed them P200,000 as storage fee for the sacks of apprehended sugar.

Enciso said they may instead transfer the rice shipment to Cebu Port Authority’s warehouse, if there is still space, as the rice shipment is in danger of getting wet while on board MV Quanq Minh.

“As of now, we will wait kung ano yung decision ng NFA national office,” Enciso said.

To recall, Cruz issued a warrant of seizure and detention against MV Quanq Minh and its shipment after it failed to file an entry of arrival in Cebu in March in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. (FREEMAN)

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