President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent a bill tightening the penalties for individuals engaged in the hoarding and smuggling of farm products, including rice.
Malacañang confirmed the certification issued by Marcos for Senate Bill No. 2432. This means the Senate can pass the measure on second and third reading in a single day.
The bill raises the penalties for agricultural economic sabotage by replacing Republic Act No. 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, at a time of soaring prices of rice and other commodities like red peppers and tomatoes.
The measure penalizes smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and engaging in the cartel of agricultural and fishery products with life imprisonment and a fine that’s three times the value of products hoarded.
Government employees found guilty of agricultural smuggling will lose their rights to hold public office, vote, and forfeit their employment benefits.