May 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Gov’t seizes P2M worth of smuggled meat from China

AROUND 1,034 kilos of frozen meat products were apprehended by the Department of Agriculture – Office of the Assistant Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement (DA-IE) during a joint operation with the Pasay City Government, the DA-National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on July 21.

A raid on a restaurant and mini-mart yielded 700 kilos of smuggled frozen Peking ducks, black chickens, doves, and other meat products.

Another inspection was conducted at a second restaurant which, despite presenting an updated business authorization, had no legal documentation of the 334 kilos of imported frozen Peking ducks, rabbits, doves, yellow chickens, suckling pigs, and other meat.

The DA-NMIS reported that the seized meat from all three establishments were sourced from China and will be brought to a condemnation facility for immediate destruction in order to prevent them from posing health hazards to the public.

All-in-all, the apprehended smuggled products were valued at P2 million—a clear violation of the Republic Act No. 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

The said law includes the illegal entry, storage, movement, and other transactions involving fresh, frozen, processed, and preserved meat worth at least P1 million as one of the defining traits of large-scale agricultural smuggling.

The latest raid forms part of the Department’s efforts to curb agricultural smuggling in the Philippines under the directive of President and Secretary of Agriculture Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“Isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng presyo ay ang mga smugglers, mga hoarders at mga nagmamanipula ng presyo ng produktong agrikultural. Hinahabol at ihahabla natin sila. Napapahamak hindi lamang ang mga magsasaka kun’di tayo ring mga mamimili. Kaya hindi natin papayagan ang ganitong kalakaran. Bilang na ang mga araw ng mga smugglers at hoarders na ‘yan,” the President vowed during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 24.

He also urged the Congress to push for priority legislations including the amendment of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.

Assistant Secretary for DA-IE James Layug also encouraged the public to report any incidence of agricultural smuggling and other illicit agri-fishery transactions to the Department in order to achieve food security in the country.