Sinag cheers passage of antismuggling law
Farm groups under the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) Thursday said the new antismuggling law, along with Duterte’s pronouncements to combat illegal traffic of goods particularly agricultural commodities, gives hope that the sector’s problem could finally be addressed.
Sinag was referring to the Republic Act No. 10845, an act declaring smuggling of agricultural commodities as economic sabotage, which the group said President Aquino finally signed last Monday.
“The agriculture industry has long lobbied for the passage of this act as we believe that this would serve as an effective deterrent to smuggling of agricultural products that have greatly impacted on the livelihoods of millions of agricultural producers, especially in the last six years,” Sinag chair Rosendo So said in an interview.
One of the lawmakers that supported that bill is Abono partylist Rep. Conrad Estrella, an ally of Sinag.
“Now, smugglers and their cohorts at the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Agriculture will think twice given the harsher penalties and nonbailable provisions of the law on suspected smugglers,” said So.
Last week, So also said Sinag was seeing “renewed optimism” as well as concerns about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s eight-point agenda.
The umbrella group of farmers and agribusiness operators noted that Duterte’s agenda espoused “a genuine agricultural development strategy by providing support services to the small farmers to increase their productivity, improve their market access, and develop the agricultural value chain by forging partnership with agribusiness firms.”
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