DA to probe diverted agri-products, build condemnation facility

By Marita Moaje

May 21, 2024, 7:44 pm

<p>Agriculture Secretary  Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Agriculture Secretary  Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. (PNA file photo)

MANILA  – The Department of Agriculture said Tuesday it is planning to build a condemnation facility to curb the alleged “diversion” of illegally imported agricultural products.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. made the statement after reports of smuggled imported agricultural products meant for condemnation were instead diverted.

“That is our initial findings, pero as far as the last few months na kino-condemn are concerned, lahat naman na-condemn properly. Nakatutok ang ating enforcement unit. So far, wala akong alam masyado na nangyayaring ganoon (but as far as condemned items are concerned in the past few months, they were all condemned properly. Our enforcement unit is closely monitoring the situation. So far, I don't think it is that rampant),” Laurel said.

He said to stop these illegal activities, the DA should have its own condemnation facility.

“Mas maganda na yung DA na ang mag-condemn na ang lahat ng mga produktong nahuli sa pier na illegal (It would be better for the DA to condemn all the products caught at the pier that are illegal),” he said.

During the 6th Private Sector Advisory Council - Agriculture Sector Group (PSAC-ASG) meeting in Malacañang in early May, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. sought the intensified enforcement of anti-smuggling measures.

Laurel noted that with a condemnation facility, the DA could properly execute the disposal of illegally imported agri-products.

“Lahat ng mga produktong nahuli sa pier na illegal, o malamang may sakit, o kontrabando, para wala nang kalokohan na mangyari dyan (All the products seized at the pier that are illegal, or probably with disease, or contraband will be sent to the facility so that no more irregularities would occur),” he said. (PNA)