March 18, 2023
The Philippine Star | https://bit.ly/3yTi6uo
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced yesterday the confiscation of P85 million worth of smuggled refined sugar at the Port of Subic Bay in Zambales.
At a press conference, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez said the seized sugar shipment totaled 520 bags or 780,000 kilos.
Citing a report from DA Assistant Secretary for inspectorate and enforcement James Layug, Estoperez said the smuggled sugar was found inside 30 containers consigned to MFBY Consumer Goods Trading. The shipment was misdeclared as slipper outsoles and styrene butadiene rubber.
According to Estoperez, operatives from the DA, Bureau of Customs (BOC), Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) carried out the operation to seize the smuggled sugar last March 15.
“The confiscation was part of the renewed anti-smuggling efforts on agricultural commodities,” Estoperez said.
Estoperez said the government is now implementing a system for disposing of confiscated smuggled sugar.
“We already wrote to the Department of Finance to allow the smuggled sugar to be sold in the Kadiwa centers. The SRA is preparing a MOA (memorandum of agreement) with the BOC,” Estoperez added.
According to Estoperez, the DA, through Layug, will prepare the filing of cases against the consignee for misdeclaration and misclassification of the shipment, pursuant to Republic Act No. 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013, and RA 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.