Quantcast

Farmers’ group hails seizure of smuggled rice in Cebu

Agriculture leader says customs should stop illegal entry of other products



DEPUTY Customs Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo Lim, a former rebel soldier, inspects smuggled rice seized in Cebu. LITO TECSON/CEBU DAILY NEWS

DAGUPAN CITY—Agriculture sector leaders on Friday said the government needs to work harder after customs officials seized Vietnam rice shipments worth P1.2 billion that were slipped through a Cebu port this week.

Rosendo So, chair of the party-list group Abono, said, “We are happy,” when asked about the rice shipments that were misdeclared as stones and slabs of granite. The shipments belonged to eight consignees.

“[But] rice smuggling

[has been] rampant for the past months,” So said. “We hope that this is not just for show.”

“About 1,100 containers of rice entered the country illegally but only 100 [have been] seized. It is good that they got a big haul now but we hope there will be a series of confiscation of smuggled products for the sake of local producers,” So told the Inquirer by telephone.

He claimed that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) had been curtailing efforts by the country’s food producers and retailers to help the government thwart smuggling.

“For instance, we asked for copies of the Inward Foreign Manifests. [These are] international documents that provide details and quantitative values of products borne by cargo ships [that dock in] in the country but until now the Bureau of Customs refuses to give us copies,” So said.

He said the BOC could share this information with the Department of Agriculture, which also has a stake in imported food products.

He said smugglers also react quickly to government action and have been able to trade illegally in other products once a smuggled commodity draws the attention of government inspectors.

“If the focus is on rice, they smuggle pork and chicken products, onions and vegetables. Then, if the focus is on meat, they jump onto other products. It’s a never ending cycle of smuggling,” he said. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

 


Follow Us


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Agriculture , Cebu , Food , rice , Smuggling




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace
Advertisement