BOC not sure what to do with donated used clothing for Yolanda victims

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Friday, August 29, 2014

SOME 150 boxes of used clothing donated by foreign donors for victims of super typhoon Yolanda have been in storage at the Cebu International Port since November.

Atty. Kenneth Kern Sesante, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Cebu chief of staff, said they’ll be forced to dispose of the boxes and their contents if the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) insists on implementing a standing order that it will not entertain used clothing donations.

No value yet


Sesante yesterday told reporters that they have yet to determine the total value of the used clothing.

Aside from used clothing, he said the boxes also contain food and other materials.

He said they only opened the boxes when they learned these contained used clothing.

Since used clothing is considered contraband, it’s not allowed to leave the port, he said.

As a general rule, he said the BOC donates confiscated used clothing to the DSWD.

RA 4653

But due to a standing order issued by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman that prevents regional offices from accepting used clothing as donations, Sesante said they’re trying to determine what to do.

The standing order is based on Republic Act 4653, which prohibits the smuggling of used clothing in ports due to the risk of catching contagious diseases from contaminated items.

Sesante said they’ve asked the Department of Finance to talk to the DSWD regarding the matter.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2014.

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