DA heightens campaign to control smuggling of agri commodities

Author: DA Communications Group | 20 October 2021

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has been relentless in its effort to control the smuggling of agri-commodities by strengthening guidelines and procedures on handling of food items that enter the country.

As early as May this year, the Sub-Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STG-EI) — co-chaired by DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) — has been instrumental in the following anti-smuggling efforts:

  • Confiscation of more or less 100 million-worth of smuggled agri-fishery products including suspected ASF infested pork meat in Navotas City on May 27, 2021 (12 reefer vans);
  • Seizure of smuggled red onions in the Port of Subic worth 101.5 million pesos in a series of operations conducted by STG-EI on July 8-9, 2021 (29 reefer vans);
  • Seizure of 5,600 cartoon boxes of mackerel misdeclared as roundscad fish in a CSW in Pulilan Bulacan on September 1, 2021; and
  • Confiscation of misdeclared assorted fresh vegetables in the Port of Subic on October 11, 2021 contained in five reefer vans with an estimated value of 15 million pesos.

On October 8, 2021, DA and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) met to implement a new set of measures to curtail the entry of smuggled agricultural commodities and ensure an optimum level of food safety for Filipino consumers.

DA Secretary William Dar and BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero agreed to strengthen the “second border” inspections and create a technical working group (TWG) to review the 15-year-old guidelines and procedures on handling imported food items.

The TWG will help establish sanitary and phytosanitary measures, food safety standards, and other regulatory measures in conducting first/second border inspection and control procedures. The TWG is chaired by agriculture assistant secretary for regulations Liza Battad, and co-chaired by DA assistant secretary for economic intelligence Federico Laciste, BOC deputy commissioner intelligence group Raniel Ramiro and assistant commissioner for post-clearance audit group Vincent Phillip Maronilla.

The TWG members are composed of heads of DA regulatory agencies including the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS); and concerned BOC officers. ###




Federico E. Laciste, Jr.
Assistant Secretary for DA Wide Field Inspectorate
CP: 0928-497-8080

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