DA heightens campaign to control agri smuggling

July 24, 2023 Joel dela Torre 306 views

THE Department of Agriculture has vowed to bolster the agency’s countermeasures against agricultural smuggling as he warned violators of heavy fines and charges if caught.

According to Asst. Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement James Layug, DA is committed with its mandate and will make it sure that all violators pay for putting the general public’s health and the livelihood of Filipino farmers at stake.

He stressed that the Filipinos deserve nothing but the best when it comes to the agri-fishery sector which is under the personal watch of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who stands as concurrent DA Secretary.

Among his directives is for DA and other government agencies concerned to intensify measures against agricultural smuggling.

Recently, the DA and Bureau of Customs confiscated around 14,000 kilos of smuggled frozen agri products worth P2.8 million in Meycauayan, Bulacan.

DA-IE reported that two makeshift cold storage containers containing assorted frozen meat as well as two vehicles with expired meat products were discovered in the mo warehouse.

The local police arrested eight persons, who will be facing charges for violating the Republic Act No. 10611 or Food Safety Act of 2013.

Layug said that the impounded goods will be disposed of by the Meycauayan City Government and the DA-National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

Article V, Section 13 of the Food Safety Act emphasizes that “food business operators shall ensure that food satisfies the requirements of food law relevant to their activities in the food supply chain and that control systems are in place to prevent, eliminate or reduce risks to consumers.”

This includes the disposal of produced, processed, distributed, or imported food products that are deemed contaminated or unsafe for consumption as well as immediate coordination with the regulatory agencies and the public should an unsafe food reach the market.