BOC intercepts smuggling of P20-M worth of onions at Misamis Oriental port
MANILA, Philippines — Some 50,000 kilograms of smuggled onions that were misdeclared as bread and pastries have been seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) Port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
In a statement on Thursday, the BOC said its personnel, along with those from the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, were able to block the shipment of two containers of smuggled onions on Wednesday, December 21.
The operation was conducted after Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) received information that shipments consigned to Asterzenmed Inc. that will pass through MCT contained onions instead of the declared bread and pastries.
The information prompted CDO District Collector Alexandra Lumontad to immediately issue a Pre-Lodgement Control Order (PLCO) against the shipment on the same day.
The BOC said the seized 50,000 kilograms of onions came from China and arrived in Cagayan de Oro on Dec. 6, 2022.
“Onions are being sold at higher prices in our local markets. This should not have been a predicament for an agricultural country like us,” BOC Commisioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said.
“The more empowered these people feel about smuggling these products, the more our economy will suffer. So, we cannot let that happen because the people will be the most affected,” he added.
The BOC’s intensified operations against agricultural smuggling come on the heels of President Marcos’ orders to protect the country’s borders against any form of illegal importation of goods.
Earlier this month, authorities also seized some 100,000 kilograms or 100 metric tons of misdeclared white onions at the Manila International Container Port.
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