ROSALES-Abono Party-list Chairman Rosendo So has challenged the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to “name names” behind the continued smuggling of rice into the country even as he lauded the agency’s intensified efforts to stop the illegal activity.
So praised BOC Commissioner Rufino Biazon for the agency’s recent confiscation of 45,000bags of rice from Vietnam and the implementation of seizure proceedings for 430,000 bags of rice smuggled from India at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
At the same time, So demanded that legal action be pursued against those involved in the smuggling.
Biazon earlier reported that the 90 forty-footer vans that contained 45,000 bags of rice were consigned to Masagana Import Export, Inc. of 2161 P. Paterno St., De La Paz, Binan, Laguna and Oriental Tradelink Express, Inc. of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
He also said that he received “pressure” from some people for him to release the 430,000 bags of rice from India which had no legal documentation.
So said Biazon should identify those who approached and pressured him to release the smuggled rice.
So reiterated that a successful drive to stop rice smuggling into the country will benefit rice farmers and other stakeholders of the rice industry.
He noted that just like the smuggling of meat in the country through misdeclaration, the smuggled rice were also misdeclared as construction materials and gypsum boards.
He said the BOC’s campaign against rice smuggling is a testament to the government’s declared goal of attaining self-sufficiency in rice by 2013.
“We support the Department of Agriculture with the construction of farm-to-market roads, farm mechanization, and the construction of more irrigation systems in helping increase rice production so that we will not become import dependent,” So said.—Eva Visperas