MANILA – Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Monday that strict protocols on incoming pork and pork products are being followed to mitigate the spread of African swine fever (ASF).
“Palagi kaming may nasasabat na illegal pork and pork products, maigting ang ginagawang pagkumpiska ng ahensya para doon. Kahit may mga pork clearances, binubusisi po natin (We have intercepted illegal entry of pork and pork products. The DA implements strict procedure in our confiscation there. We still monitor even those with pork clearances),” Dar said in an interview with the Philippine TV (PTV) News on Monday.
Dar has indicated that smuggled pork could be the cause of the latest outbreak.
Currently, DA officials are conducting the evaluation in Manila International Container Port (MICP).
The DA mentioned that they will put up their first border inspection (FBI) facilities this year. The first one will be in the MICP.
The agriculture chief shared that these evaluation areas are plans for the longer term.
“While waiting for the facility, the Department adopts a stringent two-stage inspection process upon entry of imported agricultural commodities into the country. This is a science-based regulatory procedure that we strictly follow both for local and international shipment of agricultural products,” Dar said.
The DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has started laying the groundwork for the facilities in the country’s major ports.
These will be conducted on all animals, plants, fishery and related agricultural products arriving from other countries.
It will further strengthen on-site border control inspections for imported animals, plants, meat, and other farm and fishery products arriving in major international seaports in the country.
The FBI facilities will also be put up at Manila South Harbor, Subic Freeport Zone, Port of Batangas, Cebu International Port, and Port of Davao. (PNA)