DA: Don’t buy smuggled vegetables | Inquirer News

DA: Don’t buy smuggled vegetables

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 04:53 AM September 29, 2021

FRESH LOOKING Smuggled carrots, which appear to be recently harvested, have flooded the markets. —EV ESPIRITU

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Tuesday advised consumers to temporarily refrain from buying vegetables as smuggled agricultural products continued to flood public markets in Metro Manila.

Dar issued the warning as lawmakers urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to investigate the proliferation of smuggled carrots in the markets that have now spanned to other items such as ginger and cabbage.


In a press briefing, Dar said consumers should refrain from buying vegetables in the meantime, adding that there was no way for the agency to determine the pesticide residue of smuggled vegetables that already escaped the hands of the Bureau of Customs.

Smuggled agricultural products do not go through quarantine inspection and may host several diseases. In fact, the first case of African swine fever in the country was said to have been caused by smuggled tainted meat from China—the same source of the smuggled carrots.


Dar said the agency had no idea yet on the volume of smuggled agricultural products that have already entered the country. He did not discount the possibility that these smuggling operations might be large in scale especially if these items arrive every day.

He added that the DA along with the inter-agency economic intelligence unit was still verifying the entity that smuggled these items.

“In due time, we’ll give [the names] out,” he said.

Farmer groups such as the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura and the Federation of Free Farmers have lobbied for the construction of first border inspection facilities at the country’s major ports.

This project, approved in 2020, has already gotten funds from the Office of the President, but according to Dar, construction was being hampered by bureaucratic and technical issues. INQ

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Department of Agriculture, smuggled foreign vegetalbes, William Dar
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.