Senator JV Ejercito wants to classify rice smuggling as an act of economic sabotage and a heinous crime through Senate Bill 2082 (Anti-Rice Smuggling Act of 2014).
Ejercito said rice smuggling should be treated as an act of economic sabotage since rice is the country’s staple food and two-thirds of our population is dependent on agriculture.
Ejercito’s measure proposes stiffer raps to persons found guilty of engaging in outright and technical smuggling of a minimum aggregate amount of one million pesos in the form of fines, confiscation of smuggled articles, and imprisonment of a minimum of eight (8) years up to life imprisonment.
“Higher penalties and sanctions should serve as deterrent to rice smuggling. This is the safety net we can give to local farmers and the agricultural industry. Dahil kapag nagpatuloy ang ganitong kalakaran, unti-unting mamamatay ang agrikultura at ang milyun-milyong magsasaka at mga trabahador na konektado sa agrikultura ang lubos na maaapektuhan. Halos animnapung porsyento ng ating populasyon ay umaasa at nabubuhay sa agrikultura,” Sen. JV, Chair of Economic Affairs Committee said.
Reference: Rikki Mathay