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Philippine Standard Time:
20 June 2024, 07:18 AM

Biggest sugar bloc to help BOC curb smuggling

August 9, 2022

The United Sugar Producers Federation (UNiFED), the country’s biggest sugar bloc, and the Sugar Anti-smuggling Organization (SASO) today expressed their full support and cooperation with the Bureau of Customs in curbing sugar smuggling.

In his video call on Acting Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, UNiFED chairman Manuel Lamata said his organization would fully support Ruiz in his campaign against sugar smuggling and discuss plans for cooperation.

Sugar, one of the most lucrative commodities to smuggle in the Philippines, is a highly regulated product that requires proper import clearances from authorized government agencies.

Sugar producers have complained about the illegal sugar shipments, which have greatly affected members of the poorest sectors in the country.

Edgardo Lomanog Jr., SASO chief, assured Ruiz during a courtesy call that his group would exchange reports with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on alleged sugar smuggling activities.

Lomanog said that illegal smuggling activities have become more complex as they involve identity thefts of local and international companies.

Ruiz assured Lamata and Lomanog that the BOC would regularly consult stakeholders to resolve the current issues on smuggling agricultural products.

“Rest assured of the actions that the Bureau of Customs will be conducting regarding sugar smuggling. We will be working together,” Ruiz said.

“The information you will provide (with us) will be acted upon immediately. I will be tasking intelligence and enforcement Groups to be aggressive on speculated sugar smuggling. It is one of the primary directives of the President so I will be acting on it,” he added.

He said the BOC Intelligence Group and Enforcement Group would also work with them to curb the proliferation of smuggled sugar in the country. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has asked Ruiz to work with government agencies and private organizations to heighten the border protection efforts of the agency against unscrupulous importers of agricultural products.

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