“OUR AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IS AT WAR, LET US DEFEND IT” -NAMORO
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– “Our agricultural sector is at war, let us defend it”, according to Robert M. Namoro, vice chairman of the Committee on Agriculture of the provincial board.
Namoro is referring to the continuous illegal importation of agricultural products despite an ongoing Senate Inquiry.
“This is really alarming, while a Senate Inquiry is ongoing, these illegal importers are still so brazen, it seems they don’t fear the law”, Board Member Robert Namoro stressed.
“Is there now truth to what our senators say an ‘inter-agency conspiracy’ which seems to be allowing the entry of illegal imported products into our ports causing the detriment of our local agriculture sector ?” Namoro added.
Republic Act No. 10845 declaring large-scale smuggling of agricultural products as “economic sabotage,” a serious crime was signed into law in 2016, almost six years after, the plague of smuggled vegetables and other agricultural products continue to flood the market.
According to Namoro, “ with each box of illegal vegetable import, there is an equivalent number of local vegetables that will not be sold.”
“We are the losers here, where the government and farmers are deprived of legal income.” Namoro said, adding, “smuggling causes slowdown in farm production and increase in income inequality.”
Namoro stressed, “our agriculture sector is key to our food security, let us protect it, from the ills now plaguing it.” Adding, “it is not the Benguet farmers alone that are being hit by illegal importation of agricultural products, aside from carrots and temperate vegetables, there is a marked illegal importation of rice, sugar, onions, pork and chicken meat among others.”
“Our farmers need us, Let us be one with them, this is our fight, let us help save our agriculture sector, ” he stressed.”
According to Namoro, he will be coordinating with the Provincial Board Members League regarding this matter, stating, “this problem is not the problem of the Benguet farmers alone, but is now affecting the agriculture sector as a whole.”
“We must help unmask who are behind these illegal activities depriving not only our government but depriving our farmers of their much-needed income,” he said.
“It is time that we all must be involved, we must defend our farmers at all cost, he stressed.” ###