Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, July 31, 2006

DENR links up with other agencies to stop ODS smuggling

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has begun linking up with other government agencies to stop the smuggling of Ozone Depleting substances (ODS) which are used in cars, refrigerators, cleaning sprays and other household items.

The DENR's Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), in enforcing the ban on ODS, specifically needs help from agencies conducting law enforcement or are in charge of ports of entry in the country, said DENR Undersecretary Roy V. Kyamco, deputy head of the National Anti-Environmental Crime Task Force (NAECTF).

"We need reinforcements from the Bureau of Customs, Philippine National Police, Maritime Group ? The Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority since these agencies are the frontliners in monitoring the importation and exportation of goods in the country," Kyamco added.

The DENR said, the country is determined to implement the total phase out of ODS in January 2010 as set by the Montreal Protocol. At the same time, the DENR began strictly regulating the importation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC?s), an ODS.

Smugglers have begun using ingenious methods concealing the ODS in cargo shipments, like hiding them in traveler?s backpacks. Others resort to fraudulent transshipment.

"This environment crime done by unscrupulous smugglers can be prevented by stringent checking of documents, matching import documents with consignment, inspecting the consignment, routine checking of imports of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), using refrigerant identifiers and checking the recycling capacity and vigilance of countries of origin at border crossings. Raising the awareness of customs officers is also one of the preventive measures," Kyamco emphasized.

DENR 6 EMB Regional Director Bienvenido Lipayon believed that the success of the implementation of this program lies not only among the line and other government agencies but also from and among the stakeholders -- the public.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Julian D. Amador is asking the all out support of each and everyone to be vigilant against individual or organized smugglers of these ODS, and report to the nearest police or DENR offices for immediate apprehension and investigation.


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