Government seizes 650 million pesos worth of illegal food in February

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More than 650 million pesos of misdeclared, overvalued and illegally entered food items were seized in February, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a report, Assistant Agriculture Secretary Federico Laciste Jr. said imported agricultural and fishery products worth 548.56 million pesos were confiscated from April to November 2021, while that contraband foodstuffs worth 109 million pesos had been captured from January to February this year.

“We are relentless in our joint efforts to confiscate all illegally imported agricultural, fish and food products to protect not only our farmers and fishers, but also our agri-food sector from cross-border diseases, and our compatriots from unsafe and unsanitary food products” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The DA, Bureau of Customs, Department of Commerce and Industry, and other member agencies of the Competitive Intelligence and Compliance and Enforcement Sub-Working Group for Security and Bureau du commerce got their hands on 46 million pesos worth of contraband agricultural products, meats and frozen products from China on February 8, 9 and 15.

They also confiscated 42 million pesos worth of misdeclared fish products from Vietnam from a cold store in Meycauayan, Bulacan on January 31; falsely declared frozen meat in Antipolo and Quezon City worth 11 million pesos on February 8 and 9 and smuggled fresh vegetables at the Manila International Container Terminal worth 10 million pesos on January 21 .

Earlier, government agencies seized 121.3 million pesos worth of dumped imported rice shipped to Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo on April 5, 2021; 101.5 million pesos of red onions in Subic on July 8, 12 and 19, 2021; 100 million pesos of African swine fever infected meat and various agricultural fish products in Navotas on May 27, 2021 and 72 million pesos of assorted vegetables and red onions in CDO port on November 19, 2021.

Local authorities also confiscated 70 million pesos of assorted vegetables in Subic on November 18, 2021; 50 million pesos of red onions at the CDO port on November 8 and 9, 2021; Assorted vegetables of 15 million pesos in Subic on October 13 and 14, 2021; Agricultural fishing products of 10 million pesos in Calumpit, Bulacan, on September 1, 2021; 4.7 million pesos of assorted vegetables in Malabon City and 1,874 bags of sugar in Navotas on April 18 and 19, 2021.

“We commend the men and women of the DA, BOC, DTI and composite STGEI and CREST-O teams for their continued intelligence gathering and vigilance in preventing smuggling and apprehending violators,” he said. -he adds.

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