To ensure fair trade and protect the public from unsafe food products, the Department of Agriculture (DA) continues the campaign against the proliferation of smuggled agricultural commodities, with the support and assistance of other national government agencies.
On November 29, 2022, guided by an intelligence report on four forty-footer container vans containing misdeclared agri-fishery produce, the Office of the Assistant Secretary DA-Wide Field Inspectorate together with a composite team from the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the DA-WFI, the Bureau of Plant Industry, the Philippine Coast Guard followed through with the report and inspected the said container vans.
During the probe, the team found out that the shipment containing sacks of yellow onions was misdeclared as “bread/pastries”. The discrepancy in the import documents of said shipments presupposes that it did not undergo any food safety regulations.
“This poses a great risk to our consumers,” DA Assistant Secretary James Layug stressed.
He added that smuggled produce threatens the local agriculture and fishery industries, as cargoes may be carriers of transboundary diseases.
The cargo with an estimated weight of 100 tons or 100,000 kilos is valued at P30 million.
DA is set to submit a recommendation to BOC for the filing of an appropriate case. ###