Solon: Marcos’ distribution of smuggled rice best deterrent vs smuggling

A lawmaker on Tuesday said that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s decision to distribute seized smuggled rice was the “best deterrent” in combating smuggling.

Bulacan Representative Salvador Pleyto, member of the House Agriculture and Food Committee, said that Marcos’ decision would mean “confiscated smuggled rice can no longer be rescued by bribes.”

“By giving them to the people, it has been placed beyond the reach of those who have illegally brought them in,” Pleyto said in a press release.

“The President’s action sent the strong signal that there should be no revolving door for smuggled rice in the government,” the lawmaker added.

Marcos led the distribution of around 1,500 sacks of premium quality rice to various beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) during his visit to the NFA-Region IX warehouse on Tuesday.

The distributed rice was part of the 42,180 smuggled sacks of rice worth P42 million seized by authorities during a September 15, 2023 warehouse raid in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City.

The rice will be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for distribution to its beneficiaries in the region.

Marcos said he was aiming to increase the buffer stock of rice in the National Food Authority warehouses to control price surges. — DVM, GMA Integrated News

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