Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA and Navotas City  LGU raid illegal storage facilities, P120M-worth smuggled meat, poultry and fishery products seized

Author: DA-AFID | 21 March 2023

The Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement (DA IE) confiscated smuggled agri-fishery products amounting to P120 million during the series of raid on seven storage facilities in San Rafael Village, Navotas City on March 17, 2023.

The initiative is  in accordance with President Bongbong Marcos’ directive to strengthen the Department’s fight against agricultural smuggling.

Following the issuance of the Letter of Authority by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), DA IE, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Navotas City led by Congressman Toby Tiangco, conducted the joint raid operations with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel.    

During the inspection, the team initially discovered a variety of smuggled frozen agricultural products, including frozen pork, frozen beef, and frozen chicken, at a facility in Francisco Street.

In a subsequent operation, the team discovered cold storage facilities in two locations — at 81 and 72 Bernardo Street—  containing frozen pompano, pangasius, shrimp, chicken, frozen beef, and frozen pork.

Another operation was carried out in George Street where two hidden cold storages were found operating under a trucking services registration. The two freezers were filled with a variety of meat products, including frozen pork, poultry, beef, and fish.

In a complementing effort, the team found one cold storage unit and two reefer vans at Semion De Jesus Street containing frozen flank beef, poultry meat, frozen spare ribs, frozen pork parts, and frozen squid rings.

The team also discovered the biggest warehouse in Escolada Street filled with various meat products laying on the ground including frozen beef flank, frozen pork aorta, frozen boneless beef, and frozen Pacific saury.

According to Asec James Layug, the Department will ensure that the storage warehouses will be shut down, while its owners held accountable for trading smuggled agri-fishery commodities.

“The seized commodities lack the sanitary and phytosanitary clearance from the appropriate Food Safety Regulatory Agency (FSRA). Food safety remains to be one of the DA’s major concern, and  selling meat and fishery products in the market could endanger public health.”

The DA will initiate prosecution against those found responsible pursuant to Republic Act No. 10611, the Food Safety Act of 2013, and Republic Act No. 10845, the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.###

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