By Junex Doronio
OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales — In compliance with the marching orders of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to intensify efforts to quell the smuggling of agricultural products that hurt the local farmers, the Bureau of Customs-Port of Subic under the leadership of District Collector Maritess “Meeks” Martin has intercepted container shipments of carrots, fresh red and white onions believed to be smuggled from China.
On Tuesday, December 6, a physical examination was conducted by a composite team of BOC officials and personnel led by Martin and the Department of Agriculture (DA) spearheaded by Assistant Secretary James Layug, with Shirley P. David of the Bureau of Plant and Industry-Plant Quarantine Service Region 3 (BPI-QS III) on the shipments of Veneta Consumer Goods Trading and Lalavy Aggregates Trading.
Also present were representatives from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Incorporated (CCBI).
Last December 1, Martin already issued alert orders on the shipments of Veneta Consumer Goods Trading and Lalavy Aggregates Trading.
Upon examination of the 1×40’ shipment of Veneta Consumer Goods Trading which was declared as assorted foodstuffs, it yielded “Frozen Carrots.”
Moreover, the 2×40’ shipments consigned to Lalavy Aggregates Trading, declared as “Frozen Lobster Balls and Crabsticks,” were found to contain “Fresh Red & White Onions.”
Martin said the BOC Port of Subic — as instructed by acting Commissioner Yogi Filemon L. Ruiz — will continuously strengthen its border security efforts in coordination with the DA.
She added that Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the shipments will be issued after the conduct of a complete examination and inventory.
Martin vowed to continue to implement policy measures and intensify enforcement operations to deter and prevent the smuggling of agricultural products, especially with the onset of the holiday season. (ai/mtvn)