COA: 6,985 containers of rice, sugar donations languish in ports

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2019 03:13 PM | Updated as of Jul 02 2019 03:45 PM

MANILA -- State auditors have told the Bureau of Customs to speed up the release donations which are contained in 6,985 overstaying containers in various ports for 30 days to 25 years, according to an official document.

Most of the goods are rice and refined sugar imported in 2018 and were supposed to be donated to state agencies, non-government organizations and the Philippine Red Cross for calamity-hit communities, the Commission on Audit said in its 2018 annual report. 

Of the total, 22 containers are loaded with vehicles, including luxury cars, and 880 containers were without declared information and have yet to be inspected, state auditors added. 

Abandoned goods and perishable items may be sold at a public auction, the report said.
 
The COA said Customs management agreed to its recommendation to speed up the release of items for donations, review disposal proceedings, conduct inventories, prioritize disposition of perishable goods and coordinate with other government agencies on documentary requirements.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero received a copy of the report on June 26, 2019.

The full audit report on the BOC can be downloaded from the COA website.