MANILA -- Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Friday said he plans to block the approval of the 2018 Bureau of Customs (BOC) budget worth PHP 3.1-billion unless an administrative order requiring pre-shipment inspection is amended to include containerized cargo.

“I will block the budget of the Bureau of Customs unless that matter or pre-shipment can be put to full use, pre-inspection from shipment from port of origin,” Drilon told reporters in an interview.

Drilon explained that although there is an existing administrative order that requires a pre-shipment inspection, it only covers bulk cargo, non-containerized shipments and does not cover containerized cargo.

He added that the controversial PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu from China was found in a containerized cargo.

“Obviously, the 604 kilograms of shabu that was brought into our country sometime in April or May, if that executive order was in existence at that time the Chinese authorities could have caught it in the port of origin because there would have been a pre-shipment inspection,” Drilon said.

Drilon said he would only allow the budget to be passed if the BOC would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to sign an amended administrative order.

 “I understand that the draft of the amendments to the administrative order which would expand the coverage of the existing administrative order has been pending with the Office of the President for some time,” Drilon said.

Whether or not Drilon’s position would be sustained by the majority, he said that it is a decision that they would have to make.

Drilon said the BOC should also consider renewing entering into a contract with a pre-inspection company.

“This is a worldwide business. There are established companies who would offer pre-shipment inspection facilities,” the senator said. (PNA)