Benguet Guv Fongwan: Smuggled carrots flooding Divisoria
Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan urged the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to be on the lookout for smuggled carrots that have found its way to Metro Manila markets.
Fongwan said surveillance agents fielded by the provincial government in Metro Manila confirmed the presence of cheaper imported carrots in major public markets, especially in Divisoria, displacing locally harvested ones.
“We will continue to closely monitor the smuggling of agricultural crops because we do not want the local vegetable industry to suffer the fate of the onion industry.
We want concerned agencies to be on their toes and to be watchful on the clandestine activities of importers and smugglers, ” the governor said in a Herald Express article.
Benguet is the source of over 80 percent of “semi-temperate” vegetables such as carrots, cabbages, potatoes, beans, and cauliflower that are being sold in Metro Manila markets.
According to Fongwan, local vegetable traders and farmers have expressed concern over the sudden drop of the buying prices of carrots by at least P5 in the markets after reports came out that smuggled carrots have flooded markets in Metro Manila.
In asking BOC’s and DA’s help, Fongwan noted that over 250,000 people in Benguet rely on vegetable production as their source of income, thus, the need for extra vigilance against smuggling.
Fongwan said the provincial government will continue to assign personnel to closely monitor the activities of smugglers and importers in Metro Manila.
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