US solon urges Customs to release shipment of medical supplies, equipment for Bicol hospital
By Mar Arguelles
Legazpi City (4 August) -- A United States senator yesterday urged Customs authorities to expedite the release of a container shipment loaded with medical supplies and equipment donated by Filipino-American residents in America to a non-profit hospital in Pilar, Sorsogon.
Republican Sen. Pamela Roach (Washington), lamented the holding of a cargo shipment containing medical supplies and equipment by Customs authorities who are asking for extra fees for the immediate release of the cargo that has been in the Customs warehouse for quite sometime now.
Roach in an interview said the shipment consigned to the Clemencia Lumbao Lloneda Hospital in Pilar town in Sorsogon has been sitting in the Customs warehouse for one and a half years already.
She said "the container cargo is loaded with medical supplies and equipment intended to the people of the Philippines donated by Fil-American residents in the US."
"While the cargo is being withheld at the warehouse, lives of people who need those supplies might be lost, efforts of the people who donated the items and the money spent for the shipment would go to waste, and the medicines might expire because of some Customs procedures," Roach pointed out.
Roach, however, expressed optimism that authorities could make the necessary measures to exempt donated goods especially medical supplies and equipments from excessive Customs fees.
"Donations coming from non-profit organizations and people who would like to help should not be hindered by anything (extra fees)," she said.
Roach, after paying a courtesy call to Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda visited Pilar town on Monday and graced the inauguration of the Clemencia -Lumbao- Lloneda Hospital ran by Dra Expidita Castro, a native of Pilar town.
A non-profit entity, the hospital was built from financial donations from local and Filipino-Americans residing in Washington, the state Sen. Roach represents. (PIA) [top]