Price

‘Probe online sale of smuggled onions’

February 25, 2024 People's Tonight 107 views

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee has sought an inquiry about the reported proliferation of smuggled onions and other agricultural products being sold online for a very low price that kills Filipino onion growers.

In his House Resolution No. 1600, Lee stressed that “there is a need to take decisive action and measures from the government to protect our consumers as well as the livelihood of Filipino farmers and fisherfolk amid the selling online of smuggled onions.”

The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) earlier noted that onion farmers are already incurring losses with the current P28 per kilo farmgate price as the production costs now stand at P30 per kilo.

“May mga nagreklamo na po sa atin na local onion farmers na nalulugi na sila dahil sa mababang farmgate price ng kanilang produkto. Nangangamba sila na lalong hindi mabebenta ang kanilang ani dahil sa nabibiling murang smuggled na sibuyas online,” the solon said.

The Bicolano lawmaker has urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other relevant government agencies to implement more stringent measures to curb the sale of illegally-sourced agricultural products online.

“In coordination with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), kailangan maiging suriin ng gobyerno ang health hazard ng mga ibinebentang sibuyas online sa pagsasagawa ng phytosanitary tests at magbigay ng kaukulang babala sa publiko lalo na kung hindi ito ligtas kainin,” he reiterated.

Amid the still rampant large-scale agricultural smuggling in the country, Lee underscored the need for the urgent passage of his proposed bill to amend Republic Act No. 10845 or the “Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016” to impose heavier punishment on agricultural smugglers, hoarders, price manipulators, cartels and government officials and employees who take part in this crime which is considered as economic sabotage.

“Kailangan na pong agarang maipasa ang mas mahigpit na batas para puksain ang salot na agri smuggling na dahilan ng pagkalugi ng ating mga magsasaka, at dagdagan ang suporta ng gobyerno para sa local producers mula sa pagtatanim hanggang pagbebenta ng ani, para mahikayat silang pataasin ang kanilang produksyon, na sa huli ay magpapababa din naman sa presyo ng kanilang produkto,” explained Lee.

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