Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima issued a department order on November 12 assigning several divisions of the agency to work on rotation to ensure 24-hour staffing for the Department of Finance and Bureau of Customs’ operations to respond to Typhoon Yolanda.
The department will be receiving and handling applications to facilitate the exemption from duties and/or taxes received from various governments and institutions, such as those that would normally be encountered by shipments of goods arriving as donations.
“It is imperative that we ensure speedy processing of documents and requests concerning aid and donations received by the country. We do not want further backlogs in responding to the needs of our people, especially at this critical time,” Purisima said.
With the issuance of DOF Department Order 63-2013, the 24-hour staffing takes effect immediately for a period of two weeks until November 27, 2013, with the order subject to extension as necessary.
The Bureau of Customs has likewise issued Customs Memorandum Order 8-2013, directing all Customs Ports to create a One-Stop-Shop (OSS) to expedite the processing and release of relief goods, articles and other aid equipment. Operations of the OSS shall be on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week.
To facilitate the immediate release of the relief goods, the donor must present a Letter of Intent to donate to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or any DSWD-registered relief organization, a Bill of Lading or Airway Bill, and a Packing List or Commercial Invoice.
At the same time, personnel from the Revenue Office of the Department and the Bureau of Customs will be monitoring the processing and release of donated relief goods, in the One-Stop Shop (OSS) designated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). They will handle this on 24-hour rotation over 2 weeks.