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Inter-agency task force seizes P15 million-worth of assorted misdeclared vegetables in Subic

Author: DA Press Office | 20 October 2021

An inter-agency task force — composed of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) — seized an estimated P15 million-worth of assorted misdeclared vegetables, at Subic Port.

According to the report, the inspected five reefer containers, under consignee Saturnus Corp., has an approved Sanitary Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPS IC) stating that the commodities are frozen vegetables from China.

Upon examination of the containers, the task force found that the commodities were fresh vegetables which is inconsistent with their approved SPS IC.

According to BPI Region 3 Director Laarni Roxas, among the violations of the consignee included:

  • Non-compliant with approved SPS IC on temperature pre-condition requirement which is -18°C, but the actual inspection showed that all five containers are at – 1°C.
  • Upon plain view inspection, vegetables were not frozen but fresh. The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) does not allow the importation of fresh vegetables from China since it does not issue pest risk analysis for fresh vegetables.
  • Based on the inspection, the imported taro (gabi) was packaged with soil, which is a violation of BPI importation guideline “that imported vegetables and fruits must be free from soil, sand or earthly materials as they may carry microbes and pests detrimental to health hazard and pest control.
  • Some of the vegetables inspected are not in the approved SPS IC issued by BPI.

BOC District Collector Atty Martin issued a warrant of seizure and detention on the five reefer containers of Saturnus Corp. in violation of the Department of Agriculture Order (DAO) No.18 series of 2000 and Sec. 19 of DA Circular series 4, series of 2016, which is in relation to Sec 1113 (f) of RA 10863 known aa CMTA and turned over to the custody of Auction and Cargo Disposal Committee.

The members of the task force present during the confiscation were Sub-Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STG EI) Alternate Chair, DA Asst. Secretary Federico Laciste Jr.; SBMA Chair and Administrator, Atty. Wilma Eisma, and Senior Deputy Administrator Ronnie Yambao; Port of Subic District Collector, Atty. Maritess Martin; and BOC CIIS Chief Verne Enciso; and representatives from NICA Region 3, SBICT, DTI and BPI. ###




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

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