It must be stressed that food security is national security—a public interest of the highest order. Government should find solutions to stop illegal smuggling of agricultural products before we totally cripple our farmers.
When smuggled goods find their way into our markets, our farmers are robbed of their profits. Smuggled products sell at a much lower price in the market. Smuggled pork are sold for as low as P70 a kilo, while our own local pork is sold at P170 a kilo. Consumers will not pick a more costly produce, even if they are not assured of the quality. These products have not gone through quality control processing; as such they pose as health hazards to our consumers.
Even if the Philippines is an agricultural country, we are unable to feed our people properly and cannot provide for the hands that feed us.
We need sustained and relentless efforts at going after smugglers, and it should not end with the seizure of goods smuggled: It must ultimately end up in placing smugglers behind bars.