Go prods DA chief to block importation of agri products

Administration Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go prodded Agriculture Secretary William Dar to block resumption of importation of agricultural products.

Go, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, reminded Dar that such importation should be barred if not badly needed when such agri product “can be provided by local farmers in lieu of imported.”

The senator stressed it is only proper for the government to promote consumption of local produce before the imported item.

Go, however, did not directly identify the locally produced food item facing competing with the imported agricultural product that he wants to block, including sugar.

At the same time, he recalled that just last January until February, Filipino fishermen also aired a plea to block imported fish catch like galunggong, but rued that Dar still gave it a go signal.

At the Senate hearing on the brewing agri smuggling controversy, farmers also decried the huge loses they have incurred from the smuggling of agricultural products like onions and carrots. In one hearing, the biggest farmers group in Benguet province claimed they were losing P6 million a day because of the unabated smuggling.

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