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Benguet farmers criticize inadequate anti-smuggling measures.
Benguet farmers criticize inadequate anti-smuggling measures
Benguet, a province in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines, is known for its high-quality agricultural products such as strawberries, carrots, and other vegetables. However, despite the efforts of local farmers to produce these goods, they are facing a major problem: smuggling.
Smuggling is the illegal transportation of goods across borders, and it has been a long-standing issue in the Philippines. In Benguet, smuggled vegetables from neighboring countries such as China and Vietnam are flooding the market, causing a decline in the demand for locally produced goods.
Local farmers are now criticizing the inadequate anti-smuggling measures implemented by the government. They claim that the lack of strict border control and the absence of penalties for smugglers are contributing to the problem.
According to the Benguet Farmers Marketing Cooperative (BFMC), smuggled vegetables are being sold at a lower price compared to locally produced goods. This is because smugglers do not pay taxes and other fees, making their products cheaper. As a result, local farmers are forced to lower their prices to compete, which affects their income and livelihood.
The BFMC is calling on the government to take action and implement stricter measures to prevent smuggling. They suggest that the government should increase the number of border checkpoints and deploy more personnel to monitor the movement of goods. They also recommend imposing heavier penalties on smugglers to deter them from engaging in illegal activities.
In addition, the BFMC is urging consumers to support locally produced goods. They believe that by promoting the benefits of buying local, consumers will be more inclined to choose locally produced vegetables over smuggled ones.
The issue of smuggling is not unique to Benguet. It is a problem that affects many other provinces in the Philippines. However, with the cooperation of the government, local farmers, and consumers, it is possible to address this issue and promote the growth of the local agricultural industry.
In conclusion, the inadequate anti-smuggling measures in Benguet are causing local farmers to suffer. The government must take action to prevent smuggling and protect the livelihood of local farmers. Consumers can also play a role by choosing to buy locally produced goods. By working together, we can ensure the growth and sustainability of the local agricultural industry.