The Department of Agriculture of the Philippines has filed 20 counts of large-scale agricultural smuggling against two importers. In a statement yesterday, the DA said cases were filed against Victory JM Enterprise and Asterzenmed Inc. for violation of the Food Safety Act of 2013 (Republic Act 10611) and the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 (RA 10845). In December 12 shipping containers from Asterzenmed Inc. and Victory JM Enterprise were inspected. These contained - among other things - fresh red and white onions.
DA Assistant Secretary James Layug said additional charges are yet to be filed against the identified importers for endangering the public’s health and the livelihood of Filipino farmers and fisherfolk.
The cases were based on consecutive inspections that resulted in about P397.97 million worth of seized agricultural goods that were either misdeclared, misclassified and/or had no sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances.