Cong Pleyto claims that Marcos’ actions have made it impossible for smugglers and hoarders to access seized rice.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Bulacan 6th district Rep. Salvador Pleyto Sr. have implemented a new approach in addressing the issue of rice smuggling. In an effort to combat this illegal practice, the Chief Executive, who also serves as the Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary, has ordered that confiscated rice from hoarders and smugglers be distributed to impoverished Filipino families.

Pleyto Sr., a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food, believes that this move by President Marcos is the “best deterrent” against the smuggling of rice. He emphasized that confiscated smuggled rice can no longer be rescued through bribes, further praising the President’s action for placing the rice beyond the reach of those who illegally brought it in.

The effectiveness of this directive was witnessed in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay, where confiscated rice was distributed to residents and local government units (LGUs) in the province. Pleyto Sr. applauded the move, stating that by giving the rice to the people, it prevents smugglers from accessing it. He emphasized that President Marcos’ action sends a strong signal that there should be no room for smuggled rice within the government.

Earlier, President Marcos had assured the public that his administration is committed to putting an end to smuggling activities, which have been negatively impacting the local agricultural sector. He has specifically instructed the Bureau of Customs (BOC), led by Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, to pursue smugglers and dismantle their illicit operations.

President Marcos applauded the recent efforts of the BOC, as they confiscated 42,180 bags of imported rice amounting to P42 million from a warehouse in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City on September 15, 2023.

It is important to note that rice is a staple food for Filipinos, making the issue of smuggling particularly significant. With this new approach, President Marcos and Representative Pleyto Sr. aim to curb rice smuggling and ensure the availability of this essential commodity to those who need it most.

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