Saturday, May 13, 2017

SINAG boss bewails slow gov't actions versus smugglers

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES – The chief of the anti-smuggling group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura lamented the snail paced inaction of the government against those charged in the smugglings of sugar in Zamboanga and rice in Manila.
Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table, drink and indoor
SINAG MEETS BOC. Engineeer Rosendo So (right), chairman of the anti-smuggling group
 Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura explains something to Bureau of Custom
Commissioner Nick Faeldon in the recent Hog Convention held 
 at the SMX Convention
Center MOA in Pasay City.
“Wala pa iyong IRR o Implementing Rules and Regulation ng Department of Finance. Sakit ng ulo ko ang tagal. Delay pa iyong filing,” stressed by SINAG chairman Rosendo So.
He explained that the DOF is formulating the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, a non-bailable crime, in case the smuggler is caught sneaking his shipment in two places.
“Kunyari Shipment A pumasok sa Davao ang pangalan (importer) Bangayan example. Tapos another shipment sa Poro Point Bangayan uli. Dapat add ang dalawa. Hinde iisa lang. Ni consider kung ang smuggler palaging magpaparating ng worth P9.9 million di hinde na siya kasama sa economic sabotage’s series of importation,” he explained
He deplored that in that situation the smuggler can still skirt around the non bailable clause of the law by dispersing into two his rice shipment that worth P9.9 million each that he sent to two ports of entries.

He said they should be considered as one in the law clause's “series of importation”
The law says ten million pesos for rice and one million pesos for other agricultural products are considered economic sabotage and non bailable.

Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 cited that a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of twice the fair value of the smuggled agricultural product and the aggregate amount of the taxes, duties and other charges avoided shall be imposed on any person who commits any of the acts enumerated under Section 3 of the Act. Section 3 cited the crime of large-scale agricultural smuggling as economic sabotage, involving sugar, corn, pork, poultry, garlic, onion, carrots, fish, and cruciferous vegetables, in its raw state, or which have undergone the simple processes of preparation or preservation for the market, with a minimum amount of one million pesos, or rice, with a minimum amount of ten million pesos, as valued by the Bureau of Custom.
Last year, Bantay Dagat’s operatives apprehended the crew of M/B Sitti Aini, loaded with 584 bags of refined sugar, in Barangay Taluksangay, Zamboanga City.
The crew of two other boats were nabbed by the operatives in the same place.
SINAG Chairman So added that the two illegal shipments of multi-million pesos of rice in Manila last August and November last year would be part of the criminal cases to be filled this month.
The twelve container vans carrying imported rice from China arrived at the South Harbor in the Port of Manila last August 20, 2016.
The consignor declared them to be filled with leatherette but was found by BoC officials to contain smuggled rice worth P20 million.
They were consigned to RPR International Trading in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

The other shipments of smuggled rice were discovered in November 7 and 13, 2016. The 26 shipping containers worth P40 million were apprehended at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

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