As a part of the government’s efforts to provide sufficient food supply to every Filipino, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. distributed a portion of the confiscated smuggled rice to 1,000 residents in San Andres, Manila on Tuesday.
“Bilang patunay na ang pamahalaan ay seryoso sa pagsugpo ng smuggling – ang mga bitbit po naming mga bigas ngayon ay mula sa mga nakumpiskang supply sa Zamboanga Port, na napatunayang hindi dumaan sa legal na proseso ng importasyon,” President Marcos said in his speech.
Each beneficiary received 25 kilograms of rice, which were part of the 42,180 sacks of smuggled rice seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) from a warehouse in Brgy. Baliwasan, Zamboanga City that were eventually donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The President said it is better to distribute the rice to those in need rather than going to waste. He assured the beneficiaries the seized rice underwent legal proceedings before it was distributed to them.
President Marcos reiterated that there is enough supply of rice in the Philippines.
“Sapat ang supply ng bigas dito sa Pilipinas. Ang kailangan lamang po ay ang maayos na pamamahala ng produksyon at bentahan nito,” the President said.
The President likened the smugglers, hoarders, and price manipulation as “bukbok” (grain weevil) that are destroying the balanced rice supply and price in the market.
“Ang bukbok na lubos na sumisira sa balanse ng supply at presyo ng bigas sa merkado [ay] ang hoarding at saka ang smuggling, at price manipulation na ginagawa ng mapagsamantalang mga negosyante,” the President said.
The President said they are unacceptable and have no place in the country. “Sa Bagong Pilipinas, hindi na po ito puwede… Inaatasan ko ang lahat ng mga opisyal, otoridad, at mga ahensya na higpitan nang husto ang pagpapatupad ng polisiya at batas hinggil sa isyu ng bigas,” he added.
“Sa Bagong Pilipinas, bawal ang smuggler, bawal ang hoarder, at bawal din ang mga mapang-abuso [at] mapagsamantala sa ating bayan,” the President emphasized.
These recent operations of collection and distribution are expected to serve as a warning to all the smugglers and hoarders of rice in the Philippines, he said.
President Marcos led the rice distribution at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila City. He earlier distributed rice to 4Ps beneficiaries in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Iriga City, Camarines Sur; and General Trias, Cavite. | PND
(PNA photo by Alfred Frias)