Agri dep’t sees need for facility to condemn seized farm products

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is considering setting up a facility to condemn seized farm goods to prevent them from leaking out onto makets.

“It is better that the DA condemn all the products caught at the pier that are illegal, or probably diseased, or contraband,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. told reporters.

He added that there have been reports of condemned good being diverted to unauthorized uses.

“But as far as the last few months are concerned all condemned goods were (handled) properly,” Mr. Tiu Laurel said.

Separately, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Arnel V. de Mesa said that the Secretary is proposing to give the DA regulatory powers to condemn smuggled agricultural goods.

“That is to avoid the problem of (the goods) being diverted to the markets,” he added.

“To keep it from happening again, let the DA handle the condemnation,” he said.

Mr. De Mesa added that agricultural goods which have been apprehended should be handled by the Agriculture department.

“Right now there is a third party that’s condemning and (disposing) of the seized goods,” he said. — Adrian H. Halili