Smuggled goods in Philippines help flood victims

Featured - August 10th, 2012

After more than a week without sunshine, the Philippines is still trying to get back going after monsoon rains swept the capital. Flooding has subsided along several main roads, while government offices and businesses have resumed operations. The US Embassy, which remained closed for three days due to flooding, resumed processing of visa applications today.

Hundreds of families are still cramped in evacuation centers and supplies are running low despite donations that poured in. According to Yahoo! News, the Bureau of Customs is currently identifying food and clothing from seized shipments which may be distributed to flood victims.

Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon told Yahoo! Southeast Asia that the confiscated goods still have to undergo procedures before they can be released. “Some of these items are under litigation and are thus not at our disposal. Also, before we can donate any of the items, we have to offer them in a public bidding,” Biazon added. Vice President Jejomar Binay urged the immediate release of the confiscated goods for donation, including 420,000 bags of illegally imported rice from India and 45,000 bags from Vietnam recently seized by the Customs.