City of General Trias, Cavite
September 22, 2023
“Sabi ko sa ating mga ahensya, tignan nilang mabuti at maghanap…at tiyakin natin na ‘yung mga smuggled rice ay mahanap natin dahil ito ang dapat nating ibigay sa taong bayan,” President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. reiterated, urging all government agencies to intensify efforts in addressing issues of illegal hoarders and smuggling as the Administration continues its commitment to strengthen food security and the agricultural sector in the country.
The President asserted these remarks during the distribution of confiscated smuggled rice to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the City of General Trias, Cavite where he assured Filipinos of the government’s tireless pledge to monitor and strengthen guidelines in preventing the illegal importation of agricultural products.
“Patuloy po ito para sigurado na kayo po ay may sapat na bigas at kung lahat ng gagawin po natin ay patuloy, hindi natin titigilan ang pagpapaganda ng agricultural sector at ng pagpapaganda ng ating ani, cost of production, production levels,” said President Marcos Jr.
The rice distributed in the City of General Trias are still part of the 42,180 smuggled sacks of rice worth PhP42 million in Zamboanga City forfeited by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in one of its warehouse raids last week. Per existing laws, these confiscated sacks of rice will be donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for distribution to its beneficiaries after failure of illegal importers to defend these activities in 15 days.
President Marcos Jr. also conveyed his willingness to change the 15 days ultimatum to just seven (7) days, urging the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to look into the matter.
“Dahil kung ligal kang importer, hawak mo lahat ng dokumento. Pag hinanap sa yo ‘yan, bibigay mo kaagad. So bakit pa 15 days? Baka mailulusot pa nila, kaya sabi ko gawin natin ang lahat para makuha na ng pamahalaan,” he stressed.
As concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Chief Executive reaffirmed his unyielding support to all farmers in order to advance the agricultural sector for the benefit of many Filipinos.
“Asahan po ninyo na gagawin ng pamahalaan ang lahat ng kailangan gawin upang hindi naman kayo mahirapan at lahat po ng kayang gawin ng pamahalaan ay gagawin namin. Yan po ang aming trabaho, kaya po kami andito para tulungan kayo,” President Marcos Jr. ended in his message.