Customs: Smuggling of agri products crop up on 'ber' months-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
WITH about three months before the holidays, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) warned that the illegal entry of agricultural products into the country usually occurs during this time of the year.
"We know that it is during the start of the 'ber' months when smuggling attempts of agricultural products normally happen," BOC Commissioner Rufino Biazon said.
Biazon made this statement after BOC operatives seized on Friday four 44-foot container vans of illegally imported garlic from China worth over P8.96 million.
The BOC chief said they have anticipated the illegal importation since they know that such unlawful activity happens during September.
"The people involved in this smuggling attempt may have 'chickened-out' when they learned that we were already waiting for this illegal shipment and we were just waiting for its entry to be filed," said Biazon.
He added that operatives also had an advance intelligence report of a possible attempt to smuggle garlic from China by using fake import permits.
But authorities' suspicion was also strengthened when the four containers of garlic were left unclaimed in the Port of Manila.
The illegally imported garlic shipped by Jining Wanlixing Fruits and Vegetables Company will be eventually disposed in accordance with law to avoid its getting into the local market, the BOC said.
In his speech at the Subic Bay Maritime Conference and Exhibit on August, Biazon said the protection of the agricultural sector against illegal importation is among the top concerns of the BOC.
The BOC chief continued that the agricultural sector is tied in with the country's food and national security.
"Left unabated, the impact on our agricultural sector by smuggled [agricultural] products such as rice, onions, garlic, pork, meat and meat products and others, may endanger our country's food security," said Biazon.
He added that the smuggling of agricultural products may kill off an industry and would make the Philippines dependent on other countries for its food supply. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)