DA eyes disposal facility for smuggled farm goods

DA eyes disposal facility for smuggled farm goods

DA eyes disposal facilityfor smuggled farm goods


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is proposing the establishment of a condemnation facility to avoid the resale of smuggled agricultural goods seized by local authorities.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. made such a suggestion as the DA is currently investigating the alleged diversion of food items that had entered the country illegally.


“It would be better for the DA to condemn all agricultural products seized from the pier that are illegal, carry animal diseases or contrabands to ensure no irregularities will happen,” Tiu Laurel said.


All forfeited and abandoned goods taken from piers are transferred to a condemnation facility where they are disposed of, shredded, or destroyed.

Tiu Laurel said the DA had received reports that some of the seized agricultural products were being diverted. Its enforcement unit has started looking into the matter.

Diverting smuggled goods

“That is our initial findings, but as far as the products for condemnation are concerned, all of these [have been] condemned properly in the last few months,” he added.

READ: Smugglers getting back smuggled goods

Early in February this year, the DA formed a technical working group to craft and provide inputs to the anti-agricultural economic sabotage bill that would classify acts of hoarding, profiteering and operating a cartel of agricultural products as economic sabotage.

According to Special Order No. 227, the committee will provide inputs that will balance the diverse interests of producers and legitimate businesses in the agricultural value chain.


It is also responsible for developing concrete recommendations to address identified issues and enhance the effectiveness of the proposed legislation.

Economic sabotage

The draft bill defines economic sabotage as “any act or activity that disrupts the economy by creating an artificial shortage, promoting excessive importation, manipulating prices and supply, evading payment or underpaying tariffs and customs duties, threatening local production and food security, gaining excessive or exorbitant profits by exploiting situations, creating scarcity, and entering into agreements that defeat fair competition to the prejudice of the public.”

READ: Senate panels OK bill vs crimes of agri economic sabotage

In December last year, the Senate passed on the third and final reading this bill, which aims to impose severe sanctions—life imprisonment and a fine thrice the value of the smuggled agricultural product.

The House of Representatives also passed House Bill No. 9284, or the Anti Agri-Fishery Commodities and Tobacco Economic Sabotage Act, in September last year, which aims to impose steeper penalties on smugglers of agricultural products.

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Aside from imprisonment, it seeks to impose a fine of six times the fair market value of the agricultural commodities and the total amount of taxes, duties, and other charges avoided, plus interests. INQ

TAGS: Department of Agriculture, Farm Products

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