100 MT of garlic smuggled from HK seized By Tina G. Santos Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:43 pm | Friday, June 20th, 2014 MANILA—In the face of the spike in the prices of garlic, the Bureau of Customs on Friday seized around 100 metric tons of garlic smuggled from Hong Kong with an estimated value of P30 million at the Port of Batangas. The garlic shipment, packed in 10-kilogram bags, arrived in two separate shipments of four 40foot containers on June 1 and June 12 from Hong Kong on board vessels MV MCC Sandiwa and MV Rubina Schulte, respectively. The garlic was reportedly sourced from Taiwan. The BOC said the shipments were declared as “cocoa beans to be used as raw material for chocolate.” As the garlic was misdeclared, the shipment had no phytosanitary clearance as mandated by the Department of Agriculture for imported agricultural products. The BOC’s Intelligence Group said it had been tipped off that the containers held smuggled goods. Upon spot-checking, it was discovered that the contents of the containers were garlic instead of chocolate raw materials as declared in the bill of lading. The bureau seized the shipments for violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. According to the BOC, the garlic was consigned to a certain Good Earth Merchandising, based in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City, and was brokered by one Antonio Enriquez, whose stated address was Tuktukan, Guiguinto, Bulacan. However, the chair of Barangay Tuktukan certified that the consignee was nonexistent. The four seized containers will undergo forfeiture proceedings in favor of the government, the BOC said. The seizure of the smuggled garlic came as retail prices of the commodity soared to as high as P300 to P400 a kilo, from the usual P60 to P90 per kilo. Based on monitoring of the DA, garlic prices increased by 213 percent in the first quarter of 2014 alone. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma earlier said that the spike in garlic prices “was probably affected by a combination of smuggling” and congestion at the ports of Manila, whose local government has implemented a truck ban.
Imported goods, including garlic, entering through the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port are sitting at the piers for lack of trucks to take them out. Malaca単ang also warned those hoarding garlic that they would be arrested and charged in court unless they released their supplies to the market.
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Aquino OKs P123-B Laguna Lake road dike, 2 other PPP projects By TJ Burgonio Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:36 am | Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Laguna Lake. MARICAR P. CINCO/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO Finally, the much-awaited expressway dike project that would mitigate flooding in coastal communities along Laguna Lake has been green-lighted for implementation. The P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project, which also serves as alternate route from Bicutan, Taguig City, to Los Ba単os town, Laguna province, was among three infrastructure projects approved by President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday. Also approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board was the P14.6-billion operation and maintenance of Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental province and the P2.3-billion operation and maintenance of the new Bohol Airport, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. All three are public-private partnership projects, with a total cost of P139.77 billion. The Neda Board, chaired by the President and composed of Cabinet members, met on Thursday in Malaca単ang. The 47-kilometer expressway dike runs from Bicutan, Taguig, to Calamba and Los Ba単os, and serves as an alternate route to the congested national highway, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Flood-control system It was also designed to integrate a flood-control system meant to protect flood-prone areas along Laguna Lake.
The project also involved the reclamation and development of 500 to 700 hectares of raw land for mixed land use. In August 2012, after two weeks of monsoon rains caused massive flooding in the capital and in central and southern Luzon, the President tasked Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to build a dike around Laguna. At the time, the DPWH also unveiled a P352-million “flood management master plan” for the metropolis and surrounding areas. In the same meeting, the Neda Board also approved the P9.35-billion single bid of Light Rail Manila Consortium for the LRT Line 1 South Extension Project that will connect Manila to Cavite province, Coloma said. Local funding Also approved was the change in funding source for Umayam River Irrigation Project, from the Official Development Assistance to local funds, which reduced its cost from P1.56 billion to P1.4 billion. The change in funding source to local funds for Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project-Irrigation Component similarly brought its cost down to P5.45 billion from P7.61 billion.
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