DA scraps import permits as smuggling reports rise

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the holiday rush and the expected surge in demand for food products, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has ordered the cancellation of import permits of all agricultural goods, particularly meat, to help curb smuggling.

In a press briefing yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the agency would recall and cancel all issued permits following reports of rampant smuggling of agricultural products.

“I issued instructions for an immediate cancellation of all import permits of all agricultural products because of persistent reports of recycling and technical smuggling. And this usually happens whenever Christmas season comes because of the great demand for meat and chicken,” he said.

“Many unscrupulous individuals are using the same permits all over again and the only way to check this is the total recall of all permits issued and we can only recall this by cancelling all permits