Intercepted items came from the Philippines; Customs wants more officers, plans increase in passenger fees

Customs and Quarantine Agency director Ignacio “Ike” Peredo (PNC file photo)

The banned food and seeds that Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency intercepted recently came from the Philippines.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, GCQA director Ike Peredo said among those that were confiscated were raw duck eggs (“balut”) and pork rind which came from different passengers from a flight from the Philippines.

Peredo said the items were taken away from the passengers and they would have to pay fines at the Department of Agriculture.

He said the attempts to bring in prohibited items happen frequently and travelers to and from high-risk countries must be educated and made aware of what is prohibited.

According to Peredo, his agency is short-staffed and needs more officers to watch out for prohibited items transported through the airport.

For this reason, GCQA is planning to petition for an increase in passenger fees from the current 8.29 cents.

He said this will not come from the budget but may require separate legislation from GCQA’s oversight committee.