Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Baguio: BOC lauds efforts of Benguet solon, stakeholders versus smuggling

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The Bureau of Customs hailed the aggressive efforts of Benguet caretaker congressman  and  Anti-Crime  and  Terrorism  through  Community   Involvement  and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap and concerned agriculture industry stakeholders in keeping them on their toes to curb the smuggling of vegetables that directly compete with locally produced ones that is detrimental in sustaining the growth of the country’s agriculture sector.

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Customs  Assistant  Commissioner lawyer  Vincent  Philip  Maronilla  disclosed  that Yap,  local officials and agriculture industry stakeholders had been constantly providing the bureau with vital information that led to the conduct of successful operations that resulted in their seizure and eventual destruction of smuggled vegetables in various parts of Metro Manila, Subic, Cebu and other areas of the country.

He added that in fact, the information provided by Yap yielded positive results in their anti-smuggling operations and the bureau is grateful to the combined efforts of the people of Benguet in working with them to curb the proliferation of smuggled vegetables in the negatively impacts on   the   province’s   agriculture   industry,   being   the   major   source   of   income   for   hundreds   of thousands of residents in the town’s 13 towns.

For the past several decades, Benguet, as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines, and some parts of Mountain Province and Ifugao, had been the source of more than 80 percent of semi-temperate vegetables sold in the different markets around the archipelago.

Maronilla assured the people of Benguet and the Cordillera that the bureau  will continue to aggressively   conduct   anti-smuggling   operations   to   prevent   the   unscrupulous   activities   of smugglers in sneaking into the country vegetables that directly compete with locally produced ones.

Earlier,   Congressman   Yap   lashed   out   at   his   detractors   for   continuously   linking   him   to   the smuggling of vegetables that have greatly affected the buying prices of locally produced ones, saying that he was never in the vegetable business and that   he is   wondering why there are unrelenting efforts to link him to such an illegal activity that is not within his vocabulary.

The   lawmaker   even   volunteered   to   the   BOC   that   he   will   be   joining   their   anti-smuggling operations as a demonstration of his desire to curb this illegal activity that is slowly killing the province’s vegetable industry.

Congressman Yap vowed to continuously work for the overall welfare of the people of Benguet by providing them with genuine public service to help advance the state of the heavily impacted industry.

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