President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday gave a stern warning against smugglers and hoarders of agricultural products, saying that their days are already numbered.
In his second State of the Nation Address, Marcos said the smugglers and the hoarders are the reason behind the rising prices of agricultural products, including fertilizers used by farmers.
"Isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng presyo ay ang mga smuggler, mga hoarder, at mga nagmamanipula ng produktong pang-agrikultura. Ihahabol at ihahabla natin sila," Marcos said before a joint session of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
[One of the reasons of rising prices is the presence of smugglers, hoarders and manipulators of agricultural products. We will look for them and file complaints against them.]
"Sadyang hindi tama ang kanilang gawain at hindi rin ito tugma sa ating magandang layunin, pandaraya ang kanilang ginagawa. Napapahamak hindi lamang mga magsasaka, kundi tayo ring mamimili kaya't hindi natin papayagan ang ganitong kalakaran. Bilang na ang araw ng mga smugglers at hoarders na 'yan," he added.
[What they are doing is not right, they are committing fraud. Not only farmers are affected, but consumers as well, that's why we won't allow such practice. The days of smugglers and hoarders are numbered.]
DOJ, NBI probe
Early this month, Marcos ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the smuggling of onions and other agricultural products.
“I have just given instructions to the DOJ and the NBI to initiate an investigation into the hoarding, smuggling, [and] price fixing of agricultural commodities," Marcos said in a video message.
"And this is stemming from the hearing that we've conducted in the House, specifically by Congresswoman Stella Quimbo and the findings that they came up with," he added.
Farm to market roads
Marcos, who also sits as Agriculture Secretary, said that the government had improved the farm-to-market roads in the country for easier access to further help farmers.
"Mahalaga ang imprastraktura para masuportahan ang may labing-apat na milyong ektarya ng sakahan. Inayos natin ang Geo-Agri map ng mgafarm-to-market roads ng buong bansa, upang maidugtong mabuti ang mga sakahan samga pamilihan," Marcos said.
(Infrastructure is important to support around 14 million hectares of land that is used for farming. We fixed the geo-agri map of farm-to-market roads in the country for better connection to markets.)
"Alinsunod dito, karagdagang anim na raang kilometro ng mga FMRs ang ating nilatag sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa," the President added.
(In relation to this, additional 600 kilometers of FMRs are established in the country.)
Marcos also said the government has added fabrication labs and cold storage facilities to help the production of farmers. — RSJ/NB, GMA Integrated News