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Philippines to set up border controls for imported agri products

Source:DA Communications Group     Date:2020-07-14
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The Philippines Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) will lead the government’s efforts in strengthening on-site border control inspection of imported animals, plants, fisheries, and related agricultural products entering local ports, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The DA-BAI will oversee the establishment of first-border inspection (FBI) facilities in Manila International Container Port, the Manila South Harbor, Subic Freeport Zone, Port of Batangas, Cebu International Port, and Port of Davao.

An FBI facility will have at least 39 technical personnel, and house an Agriculture Commodity Examination Area (ACEA) and a crematorium.

BAI Director Ronnie Domingo said developed countries have ACEAs as part of their strengthened food safety and quarantine, inspection regulations. These border control facilities will be the first ACEAs to be established in the country.

The ACEA, with its controlled temperature environment, will capacitate the quarantine officers to thoroughly inspect the contents of an identified high-risk containerized agricultural shipment. It will have a laboratory for immediate testing of samples from commodities suspected to carry animal, fish or plant pests or diseases and other hazardous contents. The crematorium is for the safe disposal of confirmed agricultural commodities with quarantine violations, if these cannot be returned to origin.

The government has allocated P2 billion for the establishment of the five ACEAs.

Secretary Dar said this will strengthen the existing FBI procedures in the country, emphasizing the need to prevent the entry of trans-boundary animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Avian Influenza, and African Swine Fever (ASF).

The FBI facilities will also reinforce the implementation of food safety and sanitary and phytosanitary measures for plants, fish and fishery products.

 

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