LA TRINIDAD – On September 29, 2021, the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) seized an estimated P4.75 million worth of various agricultural products illegally smuggled and sold in at least two (2) warehouses in Tondo, Manila.
Prior to this, Benguet Congressman Eric Yap vowed to ask the House to immediately conduct an investigation on the alleged smuggling of vegetables in the country, which directly affects the livelihood of our local farmers.
In response to this, CIIP – Manila International Container Port Chief Alvin Enciso said that they have intensified their efforts to address this issue.
“We will still pursue the investigation but we still expect the BOC to intensify their operations. We must protect our local farmers whose
livelihood is immensely affected by the pandemic and now by this smuggling issue. We urge them to continue their apprehensions to totally eradicate the entry of smuggled goods in the country,” Yap said.
“To our vendors and consumers, please do not patronize these smuggled vegetables. While it may be cheaper compared to our local products, we must prioritize the vegetables grown by our farmers. We have enough supply of vegetables in the country, all coming from our provinces including Benguet.
Importing vegetables while we have sufficient supply is already unacceptable. What we find more deplorable is the fact that these imports do not have permits and did not go through the proper processing for inspection and payment of taxes,” the solon stated.
“We shall continue with our close coordination with the BOC and other involved agencies to ensure that no smuggled goods, particularly vegetables, will enter the country and be sold in our local markets.” Yap added.
Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN