Beng seeks creation of TF on anti-rice smuggling PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 June 2014 14:26

Mayor Beng Climaco has requested former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization to study the possibility of creating a national task force on Anti-Rice Smuggling to guide local government units and law enforcement agencies in the conduct of anti-smuggling operations.
Mayor Climaco made the request in the light of reports that some 12,000 sacks of alleged smuggled rice seized by military and police authorities in the city the past months have been released by the Bureau of Customs.
“Our request is to come up with a National Task Force on anti-smuggling because I am not happy to note that there were 12,000 sacks of rice that [operatives from] Task Force Zamboanga in coordination with the police confiscated and seized but these were released again by a particular agency of government,” the mayor told the media during Monday’s press briefing in City Hall.
Climaco said she communicated with the former senator to request the creation of the task force to guide local government units and law enforcers. “This has been the problem since the time of Col. [Chiquito] Malayo when he was the acting City Police Director in 2013. There were so many confiscations [of alleged smuggled rice] done by the Task Force Zamboanga, Coast Guard and PNP but the items were released and we so need guidelines from the national government.”
According to the chief executive, Secretary Pangilinan should come up with a directive that will in a way ensure proper coordination of the apprehending authorities with other concerned agencies such as the Bureau of Customs.
“We appeal that a task force on anti-smuggling be created so that all national government agencies working on this will be able to coordinate efforts because this has been the complaints of our rice dealers and ship owners—mucho tan confiscate pero ta larga lang,” the mayor added.
Pangilinan, it is recalled, was appointed by President Aquino last month as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization, which is equivalent to the position of secretary.
Executive Order No. 175, which formalizes Pangilinan’s appointment, transfers to the Office of the President the following agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA)- National Food Authority, National Irrigation Authority, Philippine Coconut Authority and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority—which will all be under Pangilinan. — Sheila Covarrubias