CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – In a joint effort to deepen the anti-smuggling of agri products, the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Service in Region 10 and the Bureau of Customs-Port of Cagayan de Oro conducted the verification and examination of four container refrigerated vans at the Mindanao International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental on July 19, 2022.

The imported commodity was declared as ‘spring roll patti’ from China that arrived on July 15, 2022, at MICTS but was found to contain red and white onions with an estimated value of P12 million.

The BOC examiner will submit his recommendations to BOC legal officer for issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention of the said commodity. The schedule of proper disposal will be set later.

The said agri products are considered smuggled since DA-BPI PQS has not issued a Sanitary Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC), which is a mandatory requirement to ensure that they are not a health hazard and free from harmful pests.

The team was spearheaded by BOC team Oliver Valiente, BOC Chief, CIIS-CDO Field Station, Custom Police, PDEA, a representative from Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc., among others, and DA-BPI PQS 10 Regional Manager Manuel A. Barradas with Plant Quarantine Officer Arnold Dela Cruz, Jr.

In 2021, the DA and BOC have forged an agreement to implement a new set of measures to curtail the entry of smuggled agri products and ensure an optimum level of food safety for Filipino consumers in accordance with the provisions of RA No. 10611 or the “Food Safety Act of 2013’ and other applicable laws.”

RA 10845 otherwise known as the ‘Anti- Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016’ states that seized smuggled agricultural products, shall be disposed of in a manner to be determined by the appropriate regulatory agency.

In Northern Mindanao, DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, who at the same time the chair of DA Regional Management Committee has set measures in strengthening partnership with BOC CDO Port in curtailing the entry of smuggled agri products, citing Customs Memorandum Order No. 4, series of 2007, “Implementation of the MOA between the Department of Finance and the Department of Agriculture on Anti-Smuggling.” #(ATCabig)