PGMA inaugurates Glan CIQS one stop action center

October 7, 2009 11:23 pm 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 8 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is leading the inauguration Thursday of the Customs Immigration Quarantine Security (CIQS) One Stop Action Center (OSAC) in Glan, Sarangani.

Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) Chairman Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, Sr., said the OSAC is a one stop document processing facility for businessmen and tourists plying between the ports of Glan, Sarangani and the neighboring city of Manado in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Leyretana said the ports of Glan and Manado are two of the 33 major ports of entry in the entire Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The Glan OSAC houses government licensing agencies on health, plant, animal and fishery as well as customs clearance and immigration under one roof to cut time and resources needed in processing commodity and vessel clearances, according to Leyretana.

He said that the OSAC is also seen to improve port security particularly in preventing the entry of smuggled goods and animal-borne diseases like avian flu as well as drug trafficking at the port aside from cutting time and effort in document processing.

He said the establishment of OSACs in major ports of entry in Mindanao and Palawan is part of the Strengthening the BIMP-EAGA Support Team on Customs-Immigration-Quarantine-Security (BEST on CIQS) Project, a project funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and implemented by MEDCo.

Leyretana said the project, which started in 2006, envisions a freer movement of people and goods across Southern Philippines and EAGA borders.

It covered major points of entry (airports, seaports and fish ports) in six priority areas in Mindanao and Palawan namely Davao City, General Santos City, Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Leyretana said.

“The CIQS OSAC is a mechanism which is hoped to create an environment conducive for trade and investment here in Mindanao and Palawan," he said.

Leyretana added that the establishment of OSAC in Glan, Sarangani would increase direct shipping services between the Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle (Jags-CT) and Indonesia's North Sulawesi province.

Glan Mayor Enrique Yap also said that the OSAC will help formalize the centuries-old trading partnership between JAGS-CT and North Sulawesi.

Created in 2004, JAGS-CT is a local growth area under the auspices of BIMP-EAGA which aims to increase trade, tourism and investment activities through joint local resource mobilization and local private-public sector partnerships. (PNA)

FFC/TPG/mec

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