Monday, May 30, 2011

Create inter-agency task force to address smuggling

We are calling on the Department of Finance to create an inter-agency task force to address smuggling and help increase the incomes of local farmers while assuring food security.

Smuggling is one of the top concerns of both farmers and agri-businessmen around the country. Reports show that at least P100 billion of potential government revenues are lost with the continuous entry of smuggled goods and agricultural products, such as onions, rice, garlic, carrots, poultry, pork, and sugar.

According to field data, a conservative average of ten 14-footer container vans, with around 350,000 kilos of smuggled onions, enter the Cagayan de Oro and Davao ports per week.

The task force should be the vehicle that will mobilize the stakeholders and government in sharing information on smuggling activities and alerting the Bureau of Customs. It will also look into marshalling legal support for case buildup, evidence gathering, and the filing of cases against erring customs officials.

Kapag hindi natin nasolusyonan ang iligal na pag-aangkat ng mga produktong agrikultural sa bansa, hindi lang ang gobyerno ang tatamaan. Mas tatamaan ang magsasakang nagbabanat ng buto para pakainin ang sambayanan. Nawawalan sila ng kita at lumiliit ang kakayahan nilang makapagbigay ng sapat na pagkain para sa taumbayan.

Kung walang iligal na pag-aangkat, magsasaka’y aangat at lahat kakain nang sapat.

Smuggling is an urgent problem that the Bureau of Customs cannot solve on its own. We need the support of other government agencies and especially the private sector to ensure that our local producers are protected against the illegal entry of foreign commodities. We need to take care of our people, especially those who tirelessly work to put food on our tables.

Among others, we should build a united front against smuggling. Across sub-sectors—be it vegetables or meat, or rice, corn, or sugar. Smuggling hurts our farmers and the local industry. It must be met with forceful intervention. We should unleash People Power and defeat ‘smuggling power.’

We must send the signal to the smugglers that we will not simply watch and stand idly by as they wreak havoc on an industry we consider vital for national progress.

1 comment:

Mariel said...

Hopefully, smuggling issue will be quenched here in our country. This is one of the cause why our farmers won't have income from their crops because of the goods smuggled and sold in our country for lower price.

Mariel from Cagayan de Oro (