Bureau of Customs (BOC) Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group (IG) Danilo Lim today ordered the seizure of Php7 million worth of onions at the Port of Manila (PoM).
Lim said this confiscated onions came from Hongkong, stuffed in two forty footer container vans and misdeclared by the consignee, Shamoroal Enterprises, as household goods.
"As the holiday season closes in, we have stepped up the drive against smuggling to help rid the local market of cheap imported produce such as onions. There will be no holiday season for smugglers. There will be no happy Christmas for them," Lim said.
In his report to Deputy Commissioner Lim, Atty. Felimon Mendoza, Chief, Risk Management Office, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) said his office initiated the operation due to misdeclaration, gross undervaluation and a clear violation of Presidential Decree No. 1433 and BPI Quarantine Circular No.3, series of 1996.
"In the coming days, as stated by BoC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, we will focus on smuggled onions, garlic and other 'hot vegetables' covered up with other import permits such as for apples. I have already instructed agents to strictly monitor imported goods that will arrive in the country's ports," Lim stressed.
Lim also pointed out that, "if the Christmas holidays are the peak months of smuggling, then we give our pledge that it will also be the peak months of the bureau's anti-smuggling campaign. In fact, we will even double our efforts. Our farmers and the consuming public must be protected especially during these times. They are the ones who deserve a happy holiday season. Jessil Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division (PIAD), Bureau of Customs