The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has signed a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) with the Bureau of Customs (BoC) on the movements of agricultural commodities, citing the need to protect farmers in the face of surging imports.

Signed on Jan. 27, the DA said the arrangement ultimately hopes to ensure that domestic farm produce remains competitive amid claims by farmers that smuggled goods are making their way into the market.

“It is our moral duty to safeguard the welfare of our agricultural frontliners, our farmers and fisherfolk,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a statement.

The agreement calls for information sharing in the interest of ensuring food safety, strengthening Customs enforcement, and improve inspection and control procedures.

“The BoC will be a reliable partner in ensuring that the implementation of trade remedy measures on agricultural goods is backed by solid and timely data,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said in the statement.

“Credible and timely information is crucial in crafting policies, especially in this digital age,” Mr. Dar added.

The DA said the agreement will be compliant with Republic Act No. 10173, or the Data Privacy Act. – Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson