P1.5 B smuggled agri products seized since October 2022 — DA
MANILA, Philippines — Over eight million kilos or around P1.5 billion worth of smuggled agricultural products have so far been seized by authorities since October 2022, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Friday.
DA Assistant Secretary James Layug, in a public briefing, said that when a “questionable” shipment arrives, the DA immediately coordinates with the law enforcement unit of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to alert the said shipment and subject it to inspection.
So far, the DA has filed 25 cases for violation of Republic Act No. 10845 or the Anti-agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.
In the same briefing, Layug said the DA is coordinating with local government units (LGUs) and the Price Control Council to monitor whether or not retailers and vendors follow the SRP for of onions.
The DA has fixed a suggested retail price (SRP) of P125 per kilogram for medium and large-sized imported red onions in Metro Manila wet markets for two months.
Furthermore, Layug said the DA supports the implementation of full digitalization of BOC.
Digitalization helps facilitate commodity monitoring and document tracking so that shipments can be done quickly which will protect borders from agricultural smuggling, Layug explained.
The DA also supports the amendment of the anti-smuggling law in the country to include price manipulation.
“Kung ma-integrate natin sa RA 10845 ang price manipulation, tingin natin mas mapapatibay ang pag-address sa problema ng economic sabotage (If we can integrate price manipulation into RA 10845, we think that addressing the problem of economic sabotage will be strengthened),” Layug said. Meralyn Melitante, Inquirer.net trainee