BUREAU of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Bien Rubio on Thursday, November 16, 2023, lauded the arrest of a big-time onion smuggler and said that the success of the operation is a huge step toward the Philippine government’s campaign against agricultural smuggling.
“This shows the commitment of the Marcos administration to go after these big-time agricultural smugglers. Bringing in these goods to the country illegally is a significant threat to our economy, to the livelihoods of small farmers, and to the competitiveness of legitimate businesses,” he said.
“I hope that this latest operation will serve as a strong deterrent for other smugglers not to even attempt circumventing our laws and making a mockery of them,” Rubio added.
On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Senator Cynthia Villar said that a certain Jayson de Roxas Taculog was arrested after he was caught smuggling 30 containers of onions.
Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy underscored the coordination among key government agencies, as well as the prompt actions of the BOC, in Taculog’s arrest.
“This showcased our team’s unwavering commitment to bringing these perpetrators to justice and upholding the integrity of legitimate trade and importation. In many cases, smuggling agricultural, poultry, and food products pose a threat to the health and safety of consumers,” he said.
“For that alone, we want to make sure here in the BOC that we cover all bases and we see the finality of these cases,” the official added.
The Marcos administrations stands fully behind the campaign against agricultural smuggling, with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. certifying Senate Bill No. 2432—the proposed Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act—as urgent.
The measure, which would repeal the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, aims to end acts of smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and cartel of agricultural and fishery products.
Such crimes would be penalized with life imprisonment and a fine thrice the value of the agricultural and fishery products involved.