Rice Watch hopes for 'big fish' catch
By Madelaine Faye D. Cabrera
Aug. 3, 2012
The Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) on Thursday lauded the Senate for taking steps to confront rice smuggling and expressed hope the Bureau of Customs’ intensified campaign will “capture the big fish” in the illegal trade.
The concerns of R1 came to light following the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seizure of some 420,000 bags of smuggled rice worth P500 million from India at the Port of Subic.
Aurora Regalado, R1 Convenor said they support the investigation of the Senate on addressing the problem of rice smuggling.
“Importantly, we hope that BOC’s intensified operation will result to the capture the so-called Big Fish in this modus and help the government pinpoint the root of the problem of this illegal rice trade,” she added.
R1 is proposing that the government revise the guidelines on the private sector’s importation of rice and build a mechanism in which all rice imports will get into the country only under the National Food Authority’s name.
“This will help the government easily monitor potential rice smuggling even from the ports and the government only needs to honestly enforce customs administration,” Regalado added.
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