Monday, July 2, 2012

Finance, Customs yield to hog raisers’ requests

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
The Department of Finance and the Bureau of Custom succumbed finally from the relentless pressures put by Abono Party-List and hog raisers associations after the DOF agreed in June 26 this year to the demands of the stakeholders for a more transparent loading of imported goods at the BoC.
According to Abono Party-List chair Rosendo So, DoF agreed to allow quarantine officers from Department of Agriculture and representatives from the agricultural sectors to have access to the Inward Foreign Manifests.
DoF has agreed to regularly furnish the DA with IFM.
 So earlier said in this paper that IFM contained the list of all incoming imports per vessel, and the details of imported products and declared values. He added that without the IFM, it would be foolhardy for the DA inspectors to tag along and it would be as good as finding a needle on a haystack the reefer vans that contained imported pork and chicken.
“Iyon ang magandang balita.  Pero humingi pa si Commissioner (Raffy) Biazon ng one week para at least maayos lahat. Okay lang iyan,” he stressed.
Last year alone, the government was deprived of P3.7 billion in lost duties and other fees.
With IFM-waving representatives from the DA, So explained that this would be a big blow against the unabated plain and technical smuggling that haunt the local hog raisers for years.
“Mas malaki ito. Kasi iyong proper reference price kung ano ang cut ngayon dapat na bayaran. So, kailangan ang dating puhunan kunyari  $2 about PhP90. Ang nangyari sa i-declare nila na 20% lang sa iyong tariffs. Pero ngayon with those reference prices ang  pork is $2.15. Iyong dating 0.80 U.S cents ngayon is $1.95, so iyong normal na talagang inaangkat nilalagay na doon. So mawawala na iyong technical smuggling,” he explained.
So, who was one of the guests of the meeting of the League of Mayors in Pangasinan , lauded the LMP when it passed a resolution condemning  the unabated smuggling of pork that deprived 2 million hog raising Filipinos of their livelihood.
He said because of the smuggling’s scourged, 20% of the backyard hog raisers have perished.
So, a director of the Swine Development Council, said because of their ceaseless pressure from his group, Efren Nuestro and Jane Bacayo, heads of Bureau of Animal Industry and National Meat Inspection Service, respectively, have been sacked from their posts.
The acquiescence of the DOF and BOC to release the IFM was another sweet victory for Abono Party-list chairman So and his associates in the industry in the war against hog smuggling.
He also lauded the media who played a major role in exposing the ugly heads of smuggling that undermines the hog industry in the country.

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