Romualdez warns rice smugglers, hoarders
Romualdez warns rice smugglers, hoarders
Romualdez warns rice smugglers, hoarders
by Mary Antalan31 August 2023
Photo Courtesy: Bureau of Customs PH

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez warned rice smugglers and hoarders on Wednesday to release their stored rice from warehouses.

The warning was made after Romualdez once again joined Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials in conducting surprise inspections of rice warehouses in Bulacan.

According to Romualdez, rice that has been stocked in warehouses will sabotage the country's economy.

Romualdez also told BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio to make sure that the rice smugglers and hoarders who are behind the price manipulation, which can be considered a "heinous crime" against the poor Filipinos, will be jailed.

"Rice found to be smuggled or hoarded should be forfeited in favor of the government, in favor of the people's interest, for distribution or sale at a very low price," said Romualdez.

On Tuesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., urged government agencies to do everything to stop the rising price of rice and instructed the BOC to continue conducting inspections in warehouses.

Pursuant to the President's directive, Romualdez and several other congressmen joined Commissioner Rubio in conducting an inspection of Gold Rush Rice Mill 3, Dinorado Rice Mill, and JSS Rice Mill, located in Bulacan. The BOC also conducted an inspection of a rice warehouse without signage inside the Intercity Industrial Complex.

House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo, Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairman Mark Enverga, and Bulacan 5th District Rep. Ambrosio Cruz, Jr. also joined the said inspection.

According to Speaker Romualdez, the unreleased supplies of rice in storage have increased rice prices.

He added that there is rice that has been stored for more than three months.

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