Smuggled onions, potatoes from China seized in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 February) – The Bureau of Customs yesterday seized smuggled red onions and potatoes from China inside 23 container vans with an estimated retail value of at least 18 million pesos at the Sasa wharf.

Atty. Martiniano Bagcoy, district collector of the Davao Port, said the contents of the vans were “misdeclared”.

Section 2503, Article 3 of the Tariff and Customs Code considers misdeclaring goods as fraud and provides for their forfeiture of such
goods.

“Maybe these will be dumped but we’ll coordinate first with City Hall on what to do,” Bagcoy said in Filipino.

Eleven of the container vans were declared as having contained “shortening” and two others were declared as containing “yeast”, and
consigned to D Golden House Trading Co. These turned out to contain onions.

Aya Day Trading was the consignee of the four vans declared as containing 3000 packages of “margarine” but turned out to be loaded
with onions.

The remaining six vans consigned to Alvee Trading was declared as containing “1500 bags of lanolin” but were actually loaded with
potatoes.

In 2010, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala restricted the issuance of permits to import onions to boost the local onion industry.

Some local farmers growing onions suffered huge losses in previous years due to low prices during harvest, compounded by the entry of
cheap imported onions from China.

Atty. Edward Dybuco, chief of staff of the district collector said the container vans arrived in the port from Jan. 27-30.

Dybuco said they became suspicious after the supposed consignees did not come to pay the taxes for the goods.

He said they will endorse all the onions and potatoes to the Department of Agriculture. (MindaNews)

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