Giving confiscated rice to poor families 'best deterrent' vs smuggling, says lawmaker

Giving confiscated rice to poor families 'best deterrent' vs smuggling, says lawmaker
Photo from the Bureau of Customs shows the rice confiscated by the BOC during a raid on a warehouse in Las Piñas on September 14, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – President Marcos' decision to give away smuggled and hoarded rice to poor families would be the “best deterrent” against smuggling.

This is according to Bulacan 6th District Rep. Salvador Pleyto, who said the President's decision would mean “confiscated smuggled rice can no longer be rescued by bribes.”

The latest action taken by the President took effect in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay where confiscated rice was distributed to the residents and the local government units in the province. 

“By giving them to the people, it has been placed beyond the reach of those who have illegally brought them in,” said Pleyto, a member of the House Agriculture and Food Committee.

“The President’s action sent the strong signal that there should be no revolving door for smuggled rice in the government,” the lawmaker added.

Earlier, President Marcos assured the public that his administration is working tirelessly to end smuggling activities, which are hurting the agricultural sector.

The President has already instructed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to run after smugglers and bust their illegal operations.

He commended the BOC for their recent seizure of 42,180 bags of imported rice worth P42 million at a warehouse in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City last September 15. 

The President maintained that the government is following laws when confiscating smuggled items, giving suspects a 15-day notice to explain.

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