EDITORIAL: Sinag is one-year old

October 27, 2014 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

On October 15, 2013, the Samahang Industriya ng Agricultura was born. Sinag, which means “ray of light” in English, hoped to organize the stakeholders in agricultural industry as one voice to fight for their rights and the plight of farmers and fishermen all over the country.northernwatch 10-19-14

The Fertilizer Industry Association of the Philippines (FIAP) acted as a convener group. Other stakeholders joined the call for unity, like those engaged in production of egg, hog and swine, rice, fishermen, farmers, poultry, etc.

Abono Partylist and Agap Partylist also joined the group, with Abono Chair Rosendo O. So elected as the president.

Its birth was right on time. It was at the height of smuggling of meat products into the country. Legally imported pork meat were under declared as “offal” when these are “good meat”, thus depriving the government coffers of billions of pesos in revenues in the form of tariffs. The Hog Raisers Association of the Philippines was then fiercely fighting smuggling activities in the country.

The Swine Development Council was earlier organized to look into the problems of the swine industry focusing on the entry of meat importation including the smuggled meat products. The situation slowly killed the backyard hog industry which affected many livelihoods in the country.

But problems in the agricultural industry were not confined to meat products. Rice and vegetables smuggling was also rampant.

Sinag, as a group, totally embraced the agricultural industry and kept on fighting against smugglers and the over importation of agricultural products to protect the local farmers.

Under Sinag’s watchful eyes, the Goliath of rice smuggling, “David Tan,” was identified. His smuggling activities cost the country at least P7 billion in foregone duties every year.

In May this year, Sinag lauded the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to junk the petition filed by traders for the release of 300,000 bags of alleged smuggled rice earlier seized by the Bureau of Customs.

The decision of the SC also paved the way for the speedy resolution of the five cases filed against erring RTC judges in cahoots with smugglers. Sinag filed a total of five administrative cases against four erring RTC judges for ordering the release of smuggled rice seized by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) without the required import permits.

Sinag was also on the frontline in fighting for the garlic and onion industry when prices of these products have skyrocketed due to importation and smuggling. It fought for the stabilization of prices of the products to help alleviate the plight of the garlic and onion farmers. For meat products, pork and chicken meat have been provided with a suggested retail price (SRP) in the market due to Sinag’s intervention. It is now working for a SRP for rice to control the price in the market and to protect the price of palay especially now that it’s harvest season.

With its one year of existence, Sinag showed how to be felt by the people of its advocacies in helping the farmers and fishermen in the country. On the day of its anniversary and the celebration of World Food Day, Sinag spearheaded a nationwide supplemental feeding program to school children in public elementary schools.

In Pangasinan, through the school-based supplemental feeding, more than 20,000 school pupils were fed in the 27 elementary schools in Calasiao that are within the 24 villages of the town. Calasiao was selected as the beneficiary because it was the most affected town in Pangasinan due to flood caused by “Typhoons Luis and Mario” in September this year.

We salute the men and women behind Sinag. Our congratulations on your first anniversary.

Entry filed under: News.

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