P40M imported rice sold at higher prices
The Manila Times
AN ESTIMATED P40 million worth of imported rice that is being sold at higher than regulated prices were discovered in two warehouses in Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas, and Bacoor, Cavite, last Thursday. A team from the Bureau of Customs’ Intelligence and Investigation Service, Enforcement and Security Service, and Legal Service, the Philippine Coast Guard, and barangay officials made the inspection. The rice came from Vietnam, Thailand and China. During the investigation, it was discovered that the trader was selling a 25-kilo sack of Vietnamese rice for P1,320 in the market, equivalent to P52.8 per kilo. The price is higher than the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) prescribed range of P41 for well-milled and P45 for regular-milled rice. The warehouse owner said they were not importers but rice traders. In response, customs operatives requested the owner provide proof of payment of correct duties and taxes from their supplier or importer. Authorities gave the owner 15 days to submit the necessary documents to validate the legality of the importation and payment of the correct duties and taxes. The inspection was in line with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to intensify efforts against rice smuggling, hoarding and illicit trading.