Press Release
May 2, 2023

Senator Cynthia Villar's statement during the Public Hearing of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights joint with the Committees on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform; and Finance
May 2, 2023 Senator Pecson Room, 2nd floor Senate of the Philippines,

In 2016, Congress passed RA 10817 " The Agris Smuggling Act" which I authored. The cut of amount to be declared as economic sabotage and non-bailable if P10M for rice and P1M for other Agri-products. I read in the papers of smuggling of more than cut off amount and yet no smugglers was charged with economic sabotage. In addition,during the onion crisis, the production cost of onion is at maximum of P25/kg and yet being sold at P600-P700/kg. There is really hoarding, price manipulation and cartel. We are amending the Anti- smuggling Act to give more teeth to it and to include hoarding,price manipulation and cartel as economic sabotage and non-bailable. We intend also to create an Anti-Smuggling Court to ensure the proper implementation of the law. This is the subject of the hearing today.

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