December 7, 2022

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Department of Agriculture assured consumers and farmers no imported and smuggled vegetables, particularly cabbage, are being sold in Baguio City and other parts of the country.
The DA made the assurance following social media posts from various organization including farmers groups in Benguet and vegetable traders in Metro Manila showing cabbages allegedly from China being sold in the different markets in the National Capital Region, Mindanao, and even Baguio City.
The Hi-Land Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative, an organization of farmers from Benguet, Mountain Province, Tinoc, Ifugao, Baguio City, and Nueva Vizcaya, also posted on social media sites photos of the alleged cabbages from China.
The DA-Cordillera coordinated with the central office to conduct investigation in the NCR and conducted their own probe of the markets and other vegetable trading areas.
In a statement, the DA-Cordillera said no imported or smuggled cabbage from China were allowed or are being sold in the areas mentioned in the social media post.
“This is to inform the public on the post circulating in social media regarding the alleged imported and smuggled cabbage from China being sold in Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and even in Baguio City,” the DA-Cordillera said in a statement on Aug. 18.
“Upon verification with the Bureau of Plant Industry import section in Manila, no cabbage importation from China was allowed and was issued with Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) as of the moment,” it added.
The SPSIC is a document issued by BPI prior to importation to ensure the products being imported meet standards to protect human, animal or plant life or health, ensuring the products are safe for consumers and to prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals or plants.
Investigation on the sale of smuggled or imported vegetables was referred to the High Value Crops Development Program and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service at the DA central office.
The DA-Cordillera Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, together with other partner agencies, continues to monitor major trading centers and public markets in Baguio City and La Trinidad to verify reports of the alleged presence of smuggled vegetables.
The agency encouraged the public to patronize local products produced in the region in recognition of the continuing efforts of the farmers to produce fresh and safe food amid the present challenges. – Redjie M. Cawis