Sen. Pangilinan lead a raid of smuggled onions in Divisoria

By Jasonde Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, October 30, 2010-Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Senate Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture led a raid of smuggled onion in Divisoria yesterday morning.


“Nakakaiyak talaga itong mga smuggled na sibuyas e. Ito ang nagpapahirap sa mga kababayan nating magsasaka na nagsisikap itaguyod ang industriya natin sa agrikultura," he said.


It was confirmed by the Department of Agriculture’s that the Philippines has a surplus onion and ordered to stop the importation of it until December 31, 2010.


Sibuyas ng Pilipinas Ating Alagaan (SIPAG) Foundation officials, an umbrella group of onion growers said that there is a significant surplus with this year's onion production of 124, 900 metric tons. Philippine onion demand only amounts to 101, 200 metric tons yearly. 


It could be remembered that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Senator seized large containers with tons smuggled onion in a raid at the Port of Manila last month.


He said thru our previous efforts to ensure that the seized onions do not end up in the market as they pose health risks because they have not been subjected to sanitary inspection, adding that it’s bad enough that our local farmers are losing the competition with cheaper smuggled onions.


Pangilinan compelled the BOC and other concerned agencies to take legal action these heartless smugglers and traders that are crippling the nation’s economy wherein he requested the said agency in giving updates in the status of the case.


“We will continue our efforts to fight smugglers in the country and we also urge the private sector to join us and be vigilant on it for the concern of our nation,” he stressed. (Jason de Asis)


Opinion: It is a blatant truth that smuggling is rampant today and reflects the weak governance in the country. Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan if he is true to continue his effort to fight smugglers, adding that he has the will to eliminate smuggling operation in the Philippines and other concerned agencies, it can be defeated.


Corruptions exert a negative impact on the economic situation of the country. Transparency and good governance are needed to stop it in the Philippines bureaucracy.


Smuggled products are shipped as ordinary goods and unloaded even in broad daylight for the purpose of trading and facilitated along the coastline in the country from garments to ceramic tiles, second-hand and luxury cars, agricultural products, electronic gadgets, home appliances and jewelry, smuggled goods are flooding the local market and wiping out the earnings of small Filipino traders.


It was reported last year that 4 billion liters of oil were lost to smuggling. This is an act of economic sabotage. The government is losing US4 billion in revenues due to smuggling activities every year which is enough to cover our budget deficit.


My only worries if it will not stop, it affects negative in our local industries, wipes out jobs in the economy and destroys the livelihood of farmers. (Jason de Asis)