President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s decision to give away smuggled and hoarded rice to poor families was hailed as the “best deterrent” against smuggling, according to Bulacan 6th District Rep. Salvador Pleyto. \
Pleyto, a member of the House Agriculture and Food Committee, said President Marcos’ decision would mean “confiscated smuggled rice can no longer be rescued by bribes.” The latest action taken by the President took effect in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay where confiscated rice was distributed to the residents and the local government units in the province.
“By giving them to the people, it has been placed beyond the reach of those who have illegally brought them in,” Rep. Pleyto said. “The President’s action sent the strong signal that there should be no revolving door for smuggled rice in the government,” the lawmaker added.
Earlier, President Marcos assured the public that his administration is working tirelessly to end smuggling activities which were hurting the agricultural sector of the country.
The President has already instructed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to run after smugglers and bust their illegal operations. He commended the BOC for their recent seizure of 42,180 bags of imported rice worth P42 million at a warehouse in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City on September 15, 2023.
The President maintained that the government is following laws when confiscating smuggled items, giving them a 15-day notice to hear their side of the story.
Image credits: Nonie Reyes