LGUs check stores amid recall of pork products due to African Swine Fever scare
Marje Pelayo • May 29, 2019 • 2569
MANILA, Philippines – Some local government units have begun inspecting grocery and retail stores in their areas for available pork and pork-based products amid African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in some European and Asian countries.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday (May 28) issued a recall order on all pork and pork-based items from local markets to prevent the possible spread of the deadly pig virus.
Dr. Paul Toletino Foronda, municipal veterinarian of Dinalupihan, Bataan posted on his Facebook page images of their initiative to remind grocery stores to self-recall the prohibited items from their respective shelves pending turn over to the FDA.
Foronda said they were able to convince store owners to pull out of more than 800 cans of ‘Ma Ling’ brand luncheon meat throughout their rounds.
Foronda wishes that they may be given authority to confiscate the banned items to keep consumers from buying them.
“We do what we can to help. Gusto sana namin mabigyan na kami ng order to dispose para mai-alis na agad ang risk (We wish to be given order to dispose so we could immediately remove the risk),” Foronda said.
The initiative is also being done in Parañaque City.
Meanwhile, supermarket owners said they might return the items to their suppliers.
They clarified, however, that similar items with manufacturing dates earlier than the August 2018 effectivity of the import ban can still be purchased in their stores.
“Makikipag-away na lang kami sa mga supplier namin (We have no choice but to deal with our suppliers),” noted Steven Cua, president of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarket Association.
“Siempre, binili na iyan. Binayaran na. Isosoli ninyo pa sa amin. Ngayon kung meron silang ibang item hindi lang naman iyong item na karga nila, palit nalang. Swap (The items have been paid already. The suppliers might object if we return them. But we may ask to swap the banned items with other products),” he added.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said they will request the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to direct the local governments to assist the DA and the FDA in confiscating the products as well as apprehending the violators. – (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said it will investigate officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over delayed processing of permit applications.
During the Laging Handa press briefing, ARTA Director Atty. Jeremiah Belgica said they already filed show cause orders to the FDA on Tuesday (May 11) for alleged 600 pending drug certification applications since 2014.
He also reported that 23 pharmaceutical companies have filed affidavits against the FDA for its lack of action concerning their applications.
Belgica urged the FDA to release the pending permit applications. He said that the processing of these applications should not take long since most of the permits are under automatic renewal applications or products that have previously been approved. He stressed that these products do not need to be further reviewed.
“Simpleng affidavit lang po ang nire-require ng FDA dito. So ibig sabihin kapag naisubmit na ang mga affidavit na iyan, automatically renewed na dapat po iyan. Pero sa ganito hindi nagiging automatic ang renewal,” he said.
(The FDA is only requiring a simple affidavit, meaning, once you have submitted one it will automatically be renewed. However, with the current situation, it is not being automatically renewed).
Belgica also said ARTA is coordinating with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to conduct lifestyle checks on officials allegedly involved in red tape.
He said that red tape is connected to corruption. He also reported that the complaints exceed more than 600 since the agency is still receiving complaints against centers under the FDA.
ARTA has yet to release the number of additional complaints.
Belgica also urged the FDA and the Department of Health (DOH) to replace erring personnel to avoid any hint of corruption in the agencies.
“Tanggalin na ang mga dapat tanggalin at dapat po maglagay tayo ng mga tauhan na talagang magrereporma,” he said.
(Remove those needed to be removed and replace them with personnel who would side the reform.) –AAC
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