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Philippines: Smuggled onions costing local industry $57 million

A group of growers in the Philippines has claimed that smuggled onions from China and India are costing the local industry P2.5 billion a year ($57,800,000 US).

One grower said that the smuggling had intensified under the watch of current customs chief, Rufino Biazon.

"Biazon has turned a blind eye on the issue and refused to recognize the fact that rampant smuggling of onions is happening under his watch," said Francisco Collado.

"Usually, illegal shipments of onions from China and India were being smuggled into the country through ports of entry in Mindanao, particularly in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro. But now, they are shipping directly to Manila because they know they can get away with it," Collado said. He claimed that between 15 and 20 containers of the smuggled produce are unloaded every week.

Collado is part of a group, Sipag, which is calling for the joint inspection of onions, by Customs and the Department of Agriculture.

The group is also pushing for the confiscation of smuggled onion in supermarkets, which are discernible as they carry the label "product of China."

Source: interaksyon.com

Publication date: 6/8/2012


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