Senator Francis Pangilinan yesterday expressed alarm over the reported sale of smuggled carrots from China in Benguet.
“The government should investigate this since our farmers will be put in a pitiful situation as the already lost income due to lockdown,” Pangilinan said.
He called on the government, in particular the Department of Agriculture, to investigate the alleged sale of smuggled carrots.
“The program ‘buy local’ program will be a huge help to revive our economy and boost our farmers’ earnings,” Pangilinan said.
The Benguet Farmers Cooperative on Friday disclosed that carrots from China were competing with the produce from the province.
“Right now, it is very rampant. Almost every market has smuggled or imported carrots,” said cooperative head Agot Balanoy.
“We call them smuggled because according to the Bureau of Plant Industry, they did not approve any permit that will allow imported vegetables. Therefore, it must be smuggled,” Balanoy said.
Pangilinan said smuggled produce endangers local food products amid the threat of new pests and diseases, noting that cocolisap and African swine fever both came from items brought into the country from abroad.