The National Food Authority (NFA) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized a total of 12,000 bags of 25/kg suspected smuggled rice (thru carrier MV Aizalyn III) estimated at 9 million pesos.
NFA Administrator Renan B. Dalisay, who spoke in behalf of Secretary Francis Pangilinan in a press conference held today (August 3) at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Conference Room, Port of Zamboanga, said that on July 28, the PPA invited NFA to attend a meeting relative to the request for berthing permit of the consignee of a rice shipment allegedly from General Santos City.
During the meeting, the consignee could not present a shipping clearance/permit, instead, an application for shipping permit.
The consignee has been identified as Habib Ummar Sahipa Hashim/Munib A. Sabiran of the province of Jolo, Sulu and the shipper is SAFI Grains Development Corporation of Glamang, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Initial findings declared a total of 20,000 bags but actual number of bags is 12,000 at 25 kg/bag. On July 29, PPA issued a notice of violations to the consignee such as berthing without permit and side shipping with MV Katrina without permit.
A Joint Inspection led by Deputy Commander Jessie Dellosa was conducted by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM), the PPA, NFA and Bureau of Customs (BOC).
During the press conference attended by Engr. Liberto Dela Rosa of PPA Zamboanga; Jerry Loresco, district collector of BOC; Admin Renan Dalisay, Region X Regional Director Camilo Magtrayo and Assistant Regional Director Gaudencio Nuega, Administrator Dalisay said “this is an example of the result of inter-agency cooperation.”
“NFA is just following the marching order to track down smuggling whether it is a big or small shipment.”
At present, the suspected smuggled rice is in the custody of BOC.