PCG seizes ‘mis-declared’ sacks of Vietnam rice

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel inspect one of the two trucks loaded with Vietnam rice at Escalante City port in Negros Occidental Sunday. (Photo courtesy of PCG-Negros Occidental)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) intercepted alleged mis-declared shipment of Vietnam rice from Cebu City at the Escalante City port in Negros Occidental over the weekend.

Lieutenant Rockcliff Buling, PCG-Negros Occidental head, said a truck loaded with 500 sacks of rice was declared to be carrying animal feeds, based on the manifesto.

The PCG discovered the rice cache when coast guard personnel conducted routine inspection on Roll-on Roll-off (Roro) vessels at the said port last Sunday.

“The shipment was questionable. Hindi naman bawal ang importation of rice basta may tamang dokumento lang,” Buling said.

He said they have already coordinated with the owner and they are waiting for documents needed to verify the shipment.

He also said that they will check if indeed a violation was committed and who will be held liable for the mis-declaration.

The truck will be brought here while the truck driver and the helper are under the custody of PCG for further investigation.

Meanwhile, another truck loaded with more than 500 sacks of Vietnam rice was also intercepted at the said port after authorities learned that only 36 kilograms of rice was declared instead of 36 tons.

The shipment also came from Cebu City.

However, Buling said it was already settled after corrections were made.

They have already talked with the owner and the Bureau of Customs yesterday.

He said the truck will be released as soon as the owner has complied with the certificates and other necessary documents.