Bernadette E. Tamayo
October 29, 2010
SEN. Francis Pangilinan called on the Bureau of Customs and other concerned agencies to run after smugglers of onions and unscrupulous traders who cripple the economy.
The senator made the appeal as he led a raid of smuggled onions in Divisoria yesterday. Pangilinan and BoC officials also raided the Port of Manila last month where large containers with tons of smuggled onions were seized.
”We have requested the BoC to give us updates regarding the status of these cases, and we will continue with our efforts. We also urge the private sector to join us and be vigilant in our battle against smuggling,” Pangilinan said.
“Nakakaiyak talaga itong mga ganitong smuggled na sibuyas e. Ito ang nagpapahirap sa mga kababayan nating magsasaka na nagsisikap itaguyod ang industriya natin ng agrikultura,” he said.
Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, said the country has a surplus of onions as confirmed by the Department of Agriculture’s order halting the importation of onions until the end of the year.
According to Sibuyas ng Pilipinas Ating Alagaan Foundation officials, an umbrella group of onion-growers, there is a significant surplus with this year’s onion production of 124, 900 metric tons.
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