"Was Secretary Dar fed the wrong information?"
As local farmers continue to struggle, facing the harsh realities of this pandemic-driven economy – a difficulty in transporting their goods forcing them to sell their produce at way, way below their production cost rather than see them rot away — they are again faced with a devastating development. This comes in the form of news of vegetables in direct competition with their goods being smuggled into the country.
According to no less than Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, they have received reports of smuggled carrots and other vegetables being sold at markets nationwide. This has greatly affected the income of the c.
The alleged smuggled carrots is on top of the news which came out last month regarding supposed hot cabbages being distributed in Divisoria Market in and sold at P70 per kilo, which is much lower than the prices of Benguet cabbage pegged at P115 to P125 per kilo.
The entry of fresh vegetables into the country is prohibited.
Dar said he would address the issue, saying the DA has already launched an investigation to locate all smuggled vegetables that entered the country, which will also be examined to ensure food safety.
He said that based on initial reports, the shipments, originating from China, entered the country via Subic port, which were misdeclared as other items.
This is where the problem lies. According to sources, Dar might have been fed with wrong information regarding the entry of the hot vegetables.
Documents provided to this writer revealed that the six containers of smuggled vegetables were processed at ports outside of Subic.
Containers bearing numbers: SZLU9519561; BMOU9835830; SZLU6033766; SZLU9905986; and OTPU6250420 were processed at the Port of Cebu.
The sixth container bearing number SZLU9921312 reportedly cannot be located in the system of the Bureau of Customs, thus, it cannot be ascertained with regard to its point of entry of processing.
We welcome the probe initiated by Secretary Dar on this matter. However, if he will be starting on the wrong foot, his investigation could lead to nowhere. In fact, this writer is also at a loss as to why Dar was misled into believing the alleged smuggled vegetables entered the Port of Subic when it appears to be not. Is there a deliberate attempt by some groups or individuals, who ironically, could even be within Dar’s circle, to cover-up for this illegal vegetable shipment?
But I have my trust in Secretary Dar. I’m pretty sure he will go deeper to dig who really is behind this dastardly act which has been putting our local farmers at a great disadvantage, and identify the companies, importers, and others who could be responsible for the shipments.
Reward for a job well done.
Probinsyano Ako Rep. Jose ‘Bonito’ Singson Jr. is proposing to increase the budget of the Department of Labor and Employment for the year 2022 by as much as P7 billion or more, which the lawmakers said will help “sustain and increase the capability of the Labor Department under the leadership of Sec. Silvestre Bello III, in their successful COVID-19 response programs.”
Rep. Singson, who is currently the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, made the proposal during the Committee on Appropriations deliberations on the national budget. The proposal received overwhelming support from its Vice-Chairman Rep. David Suarez and several members of his committee. Singson noted that the DoLE’s various programs were very responsive in alleviating the difficulties faced by millions of our countrymen caused by the pandemic.
Chairman Bonito further emphasized Labor Secretary Bello and his entire team’s responsive performance in mitigating the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bello has successfully implemented the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program to assist workers affected during the on-and-off Enhanced Community Quarantine program being implemented by the government.
The additional budget for DoLE which I referred to as a reward, is not actually a reward in the sense for Bello and his team as that would only mean they are being armed with more resources to serve more workers during this time, which would spell additional work for them.
When I said reward, I was actually referring to more workers who stand to benefit from DoLE’s program under the tutelage of Secretary Bello. These workers are getting their reward – more assistance on their way – because of the excellent response of Bello and his team. Thanks to Congressman Bonito for having recognized this.
I hope this additional budget for DoLE gets approved.