MANILA — A lady-lawmaker has initiated a congressional inquiry into the reported rampant entry of smuggled rice, logs and sugar in Zamboanga City.
Rep. Lilia Macrohon-Nuño (2nd District, Zamboanga City) has filed House Resolution 1828 directing the House committee on Agriculture and food and the Committee on Food Security to immediately conduct an investigation and introduce appropriate measures to stop said smuggling activities.
“Smuggled goods, particularly rice smuggling, is killing the local rice farmers in Zamboanga City whose very aim is to send their children to school and to have decent means of living,” Macrohon-Nuño pointed out.
She noted that there had been several information of smuggling activities reported and some apprehensions had been made by local authorities of the City against said illegal activities.
The lady lawmaker added that even the Philippine Center on Transnational Crimes Western Mindanao Field Office had also reported that Zamboanga City have numerous private finger wharves (docksides).
“Some of these wharves operating illegally are being used not only for human trafficking but also for rice smuggling and other illegal activities,” Macrohon-Nuño said.
She noted that the Bureau of Customs admitted that the Customs Police assigned with the Bureau in the Zamboanga District have limited number of personnel and operatives to go after smugglers and that cannot guard the 96 privately operated/owned wharves in the City.
“It would be just and proper for the House of Representatives to look into this matter since smuggling activities in any part of the country can be considered economic sabotage that will not only hurt local farmers and legitimate traders but shall have negative impact on the national economy,” the lady-lawmaker said.