By Erwin Beleo
San Fernando City, La Union – Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada is pushing for the strict implementation of Republic Act 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, to help farmers in the country.
Estrada, principal author of RA 10845, here Thursday said the law would prevent the rampant smuggling of various agricultural products such as garlic and onions,
“I hope it (RA 10845) will be implemented strictly because this will help our farmers a lot, especially their income. This law will prevent all forms of smuggling of agri-products and violating it is a heinous crime, its economic sabotage,” Estrada said.
Estrada said that due to the unabated smuggling of agricultural goods, Filipino farmers are being left behind because traders are choosing imported goods for their business. I hope the current administration would give priorities to this law so that the agricultural industry in our country would innovate with the use of modern technologies, the senator added.
Estrada, who was guest during the State of the Province Address (SOPA) of Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III, said the law would also help tobacco farmers cope with their losses due to the nationwide ban on smoking.
“We are looking into the plight of tobacco farmers because the smoking ban is an international advocacy about health concerns. There is also one big cigarette company who stopped operation due to tax issues and this company is the one buying tobacco products in northern Luzon,” he said.
Estrada also assured Ortega to help La Union in the health and agricultural projects because this was anchored to the agri-tourism programs of Ortega’s administration.
Ortega, for his part, thanked the senator for his support and his plans to provide assistance to the health facilities of the province.
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