You are currently viewing Congress Asked to Pass Economic Sabotage Act

Congress Asked to Pass Economic Sabotage Act

Photo: Mykhailo Polenok –

Tobacco farmers in the Philippines are urging Congress to pass the Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act to counter smuggling, reports The Manilla Times.

The Philippine Tobacco Growers Association (PTGA) and the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers Association and Cooperatives on May 2 called for Congress to already convene a Bicameral Conference Committee before July.

PTGA President Saturnino Distor emphasized the urgent necessity of passing the bill due to widespread smuggling, which not only affects the agricultural sector but also threatens local farmers and their dependents.

The proposed legislation categorizes the smuggling of agricultural products, including tobacco, as “economic sabotage,” which carries a penalty of life imprisonment.

Additionally, perpetrators will face fines that are triple the value of the smuggled products.

More than 2.2 million Filipinos depend on tobacco for their livelihoods, including more than 430,000 farmers, farmworkers and their family members, according to data from the National Tobacco Administration.

The tobacco farmers said the Philippine government loses about PHP200 billion ($3.5 billion) in revenue annually due to smuggling, with PHP30 billion attributed to smuggled cigarettes alone.