Guv: No rice smuggling in Negros-A A +A
Monday, February 10, 2014
NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said that rice smuggling is not happening in the province.
He said that smuggling activities only happen in international ports like those in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos City, and in other major ports across the country.
Ports in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, cater mostly to inter-island vessels.
The governor’s pronouncement came in the wake of the Senate inquiry on rice smuggling.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Customs said the campaign of the government against rice smuggling has gaining headway.
The BOC has filed before the Department of Justice 22 rice-related smuggling cases under its Run After The Smugglers (Rats) program in 2013.
The respondents were charged for violation of Section 3602 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code.
More than P1.2-billion worth of illegally-imported rice was seized by the BOC last year.
The BOC also cancelled the accreditation of 14 rice importers for not having enough resources to warrant the importation of large volume of rice.
The rice importers are Conquistar Marketing, Dream the Dream Marketing, Happy Morning Enterprises, Kakampi Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kapatiran Takusa Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Malipampang Concerned Citizens Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Pinambaran Farmers Producers Cooperative, Samahang Magsasakang Kampampangan at Katagalugan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Thunder Glutch Marketing, Ugnayang Magbubukid ng San Isidro, Inc., Vita Rose Marketing, Dragon Clash Enterprises, Masagana Import Export and King Casey Trading.
Customs Commissioner John Sevilla said they are committed to prosecuting traders who continue to import rice illegally.
Sevilla said that the practices are not only unfair to legitimate rice dealers and sellers, but also cause harm to Filipino farmers.
The BOC filed smuggling charges against the officials of the San Carlos Multi-Purpose Cooperative for the unlawful importation of more than 28,000 sacks or rice with an estimated market value of P34 million last February 6. (TDE with reports from PNA)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 10, 2014.