By Mortz C. Ortigoza
ROSALES – Are corporate giants Pure foods and Monterey the top importers of frozen meat like pork in the country?
A resounding “no” from Abono Party list chairman Rosendo So who said the top ten importers of pork are ten individuals who declared a measly capital of P100,000 only.
“Who are they? We told (Agriculture) Secretary Proceso Alcala that we are going to meet them through a congressional inquiry participated by Representatives Robert Raymund Estrella, Dong Mendoza, and Angelo Palmones,” So said.
So bared that plain and technical smuggling are the order of the day at the Bureau of Custom (BoC) where he suspected that officials of the BoC, National Meat Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Animal Industry were in cahoots with each other.
He called as “plain and simple technical smuggling” if one looks at the records of BAI.
“The pork composed of good meats like belly and pork chops that enter the country runs to 73,202,000 kilos according to the records of BAI in 2010. But based on the record of the United Nations on the same year and with the same quality of pork that entered the country there was 105,761,459 kilos,” he explained.
Eng. So said the discrepancy of the two bodies is 32,559,459 kilos.
“Saan napunta ito?” he posed.
He said smuggling ensued too in the importation of offal (parts of butchered pigs like chopped ears, snout, brain, and others, which are major ingredient of a popular delicacy sisig) in the country. Eng. So cited the incredible records that haunt the importation of good meat.
“Based on the BAI 2010 records, there was 105,595,096 kilos that entered the custom area. But based on the UN records there was only 56, 447,706 kilos.”
He wondered why an increase of 105,595,096 in the importation of offal when the UN records said the country imported only 56, 447,706 kilos.
He said the difference of P32, 559,459 that was part of the 105,761,459 kilos the UN has recorded should be included as part of good meat and not the cheaper offal.
So said that misdeclaration in the price of good meat reared its ugly head in the January to December 2010 records of the BOC.
He cited that the price of good meat is $1.90 a kilo during that time while the record at the BOC said it was only 85 U.S cents a kilo.
A difference he said of $1.05 or P46 .20 if computed to the U.S-Pesos exchange rate of $1 dollar to P44.
He explained that misdeclaration at the BOC can be seen in the records if one based it on the 32,559,459 kilos difference of good meat mis-declared as offal.
“32,559,459 multiplied by P32 (price of offal a kilo) then we lost P1.05 billion. That’s technical smuggling,” So said.
He said the 16, 587,851million kilos (32,559,459 million kilos minus 49,147,310 kilos) was money lost that amounted to P554 million because of plain smuggling.
He explained the total revenues lost due to smuggling, technical smuggling, and misdeclaration of good meat to offal deprived the government of a staggering P2.8 billion in 2010.