SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Sunday hailed the recent apprehension of a suspected large-scale onion smuggler as a “crucial milestone” in the government’s ongoing battle against the smuggling and hoarding of agricultural products.
The leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives attributed the arrest of Jayson de Roxas Taculog in Batangas last Wednesday to the collaborative efforts between the executive and legislative branches in the fight against agricultural smuggling, which adversely affects Filipino farmers and consumers.
“Through these concerted efforts, we are witnessing tangible improvements in the agricultural sector. We stand firm in our duty to assist our citizens and ensure the resilience of our nation’s food security,” Speaker Romualdez said.
Speaker Romualdez also acknowledged the effective coordination among the police, courts, and local governments, underscoring the commitment to safeguarding the interests of Filipino farmers and consumers in the battle against smuggling.
He specifically commended the Bureau of Customs (BoC) led by Commissioner Bien Rubio for its “exemplary work in apprehending Taculog and thwarting large-scale agricultural smuggling, a vital step in curbing economic sabotage.”
Earlier this year, Speaker Romualdez, acknowledging the detrimental impact of onion smuggling on the nation’s agricultural sector, took the initiative to launch a congressional probe into the matter and urged authorities to build a strong case against those accountable for this illicit activity.
As a direct outcome of the preceding House inquiry, there has been a significant reduction in onion prices.
As part of broader legislative efforts, Speaker Romualdez reaffirmed the House’s commitment to supporting President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s initiatives for food security and fair market practices.
The House chief likewise stressed the need for ongoing support to farmers through technology, funding, and equipment to ensure a stable agricultural supply and combat anti-competitive practices.
Assuring the public of continued vigilance, Speaker Romualdez stated, “The arrest of Taculog is a significant milestone, but we will not stop here. The House remains steadfast in its duty to protect our nation’s food security and the interests of our farmers and consumers.”
“This success is part of a comprehensive strategy to foster sustainable farming, promote equitable market conditions, and contribute to the overall growth and development of the country’s agriculture sector,” Speaker Romualdez added.