Purge Gov’t List of Rice Importers, Traders

Palawan News - - ENVIRONMENT -

Re­place­ment of im­port quo­tas with tar­iffs would not dis­man­tle the rice car­tels in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Ilo­cos Norte Gov­er­nor Imee R. Mar­cos. “The govern­ment ros­ters of rice importers and traders must be purged of smug­glers, eco­nomic sabo­teurs, hoard­ers, and tax evaders.” Gov. Mar­cos, who is run­ning for se­na­tor in next year’s midterm elec­tions, said it would “still be busi­ness as usual” for the rice car­tel be­cause they con­trol the un­der­ly­ing sys­tem and in­ter­nal ar­chi­tec­ture of rice im­por­ta­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion. “Their con­trol of that sys­tem is not ad­dressed by any of the bills on rice tar­if­fi­ca­tion, re­vok­ing their li­censes and per­mits to im­port rice will deal a se­ri­ous blow to the rice car­tels,” Ms. Mar­cos said. She called for a rig­or­ous vet­ting process, with the cru­cial in­volve­ment of civil so­ci­ety watch­dog or­ga­ni­za­tions, that will purge of the lists of rice importers and traders. The Ilo­cos Norte gov­er­nor called for a de­tailed au­dit and foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion of all the pro­cesses and doc­u­ments in the rice im­por­ta­tion cy­cle.

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