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60000 kg of smuggled garlic seized in Batangas

Smuggled garlic seized by Customs

60000 kg of smuggled garlic seized in Batangas
60000 kg of smuggled garlic seized in Batangas

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized garlic smuggled into the country through the Port of Batangas on Wednesday, as the agency continues to step-up its drive against the illegal entry of agricultural products in the Philippines.

The garlic, packed in ten-kilogram bags purportedly from Taiwan, was stored in two 40-foot container vans that arrived from Hong Kong last June 1. Estimated total weight of the seized garlic is between 50,000 to 60,000 kilograms. The shipment was consigned to a certain Good Earth Merchandising, based in Cagayan de Oro City; and was brokered by an Antonio Enriquez, with address at Tuktukan, Guiguinto, Bulacan. In import documents filed with the BOC, the shipment was declared as “cocoa beans to be used as raw material for chocolate.” An Alert Order was hoisted on the shipment based on derogatory information received by the agency’s Intelligence Group.

“We cannot allow smuggling of agricultural products to go unchecked. These unscrupulous importers disrupt our local economy and cause loss of jobs and livelihood for our farmers,” said Ernesto Benitez, Jr., District Collector of the BOC’s Port of Batangas.

The seizure of the smuggled garlic occurred amidst an unusual spike in the price of the commodity in the retail market. From the usual P60 to P90 per kilo, the price of garlic has risen to as high as P360 to P400 in wet markets and groceries nationwide.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.