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DA buries smuggled onions in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Some 71,551 kilos of smuggled onions were buried Saturday at the Department of Agriculture Research Center compound in Sitio San Ramon, Bgy. Talisayan, this city.
Dr. Floralie Yeo Floriano, Bureau of Plant and Industry Quarantine Officer, said the onions pose a risk to consumers since they have no phytosanitary permit from the port of origin.
The onions came from India and were sold to a business firm in Malaysia. Authorities seized the onions when they were shipped by smugglers to Zamboanga City via the province of Tawi-Tawi.
“There was no directive from our central office that it can be donated. So automatically, it will be destroyed, because the onions are not fit for human and animal health,” Floriano said.
The smuggled onions were buried in the presence of officials and representatives of the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Customs, Department of Agriculture, City Government, and local police.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Josephine Pareja said residents living nearby the research center complained of bad odor coming from the rotten onions.
“Some residents complained experiencing headaches due to the bad odor of rotten onions,” Pareja, a resident of Bgy. Talisayan, said. Philippine News Agency