Press Release
June 27, 2016

Villar bares smugglers use 'cold stores' in illicit trade

Senator Cynthia A. Villar divulged that smugglers are using 'cold stores' in their illicit trade as she called on the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) "to police their own ranks."

While going around the country to inquire on agricultural smuggling, Villar said they found out that smugglers were paying cold stores in the provinces to reject for storage the crops or harvest of farmers or farmers' groups and cooperatives.

"Once local produce were rotten, the imported ones, including those smuggled, would be saleable," she said.

Villar said they earlier got reports about this nefarious practice of smugglers that adversely affected our farmers and the agriculture sector.

She said they found out the cold stores were empty although they were earlier informed they're full.

"I pointed this out because I do not want CCAP and its members to be dragged in the smuggling issue," said Villar.

"I know that like any legitimate and upstanding organizations, you can police your ranks. You also represent their individual and collective interests in policymaking, standards-setting and industry development," further stated Villar.

She also acknowledged that the concerted efforts of the two industries-- agriculture and cold chain companies will surely result to more business and economic gains."

Speaking during the 14th annual general membership meeting and training conference of CCAP, Villar lauded the importance of the services provided by cold chain companies to the agriculture sector.

"I cannot overemphasize that your role in the supply, storage and distribution of both chilled and/or frozen food products is very crucial," she said.

Villar said CCAP also aims to achieve effective handling, storage and distribution of products with the consumer in mind.

"Let us continue to dialogue and form linkages since we have a common goal of ensuring food security in the country. To achieve that goal, all of us should be stakeholders. On the matter of food security, we should be helping each other. With our concerted efforts and coordinated actions, nothing is impossible," said Villar.

She likewise said agricultural stakeholders are upbeat the industry will receive the much-needed boost under the Duterte administration with Emmanuel "Manny" Piñol as agriculture secretary.

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