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DA, BOC raid 2 storage facilities in Bulacan, yield P35-M smuggled frozen meat

MEYCAUAYAN CITY — The Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement (DA-IE) apprehended 175,000 kilos of smuggled frozen agricultural products amounting to P35 million during an operation in Meycauayan, Bulacan on Tuesday (July 11).

The initiative is in accordance with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to strengthen the Department’s fight against agricultural smuggling.

Following the issuance of the Letter of Authority by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), DA-IE, in partnership with the barangay officials of Meycauayan, conducted joint raid operations with the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The BOC said the products were discovered in two makeshift cold storage facilities inside the Meycauayan Industrial Subdivision in Barangay Pantoc.

BOC-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) director Verne Enciso said the joint operation was conducted in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Both Customs and agriculture inspectors found the bulk of spoiled frozen meat products such as pork feet, lamb, and chicken skin concealed in piles of boxes, with others sealed in plastic wrappings.

Banned frozen meat products from Germany and India, as well as proof of reboxing the spoiled meat products, were also discovered.

Asec. James Layug, who heads the DA-IE, stressed that DA ensures that the storage warehouses will be shut down, while its owners will be held accountable for trading smuggled agricultural commodities.

Food safety remains to be one of the DA’s major concerns, and selling smuggled meat and fishery products in the market poses a danger to public health.

“The seized commodities lack the sanitary and phytosanitary clearance from the appropriate Food Safety Regulatory Agency (FSRA),” he said.

He added that the Department will initiate prosecution against those found responsible pursuant to Republic Act No. 10611, the Food Safety Act of 2013, and Republic Act No. 10845, the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. (UnliNews Online)

Manny D. Balbin
Manny D. Balbinhttp://unlinews.org
Emmanuel "Manny" Dineros Balbin, founder and editor-in-chief of UNLINEWS ONLINE and UNLINEWS Digital Newspaper, is a former seminarian of Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Notre Dame University Seminary in Cotabato City. Graduated college with Philosophy and Political Science courses at the University of Santo Tomas, Legazpi City. A former Journal Group of Publication (People's Journal, People's Tonight, Taliba & Women's Journal) staffer for 17 years. Before, he simultaneously contributed news articles to 3 local newspapers in Bulacan (NewsCore, MetroNews & NewsWatcher). He is the founder and the former editor-in-chief of RONDA Balita, both in weekly newspaper and online news. A former Kabayan provincial reporter, 2010 Bulacan election correspondent by Rappler and presently, a stringer of Philippine News Agency (PNA) Bulacan.
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