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PH bans pork imports from Japan due to ASF

by admin   |   Posted on Sunday, 10 February 2019 05:47 PM

FILE PHOTO: Pork meat being sold at a wet market

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered an immediate ban on the entry of pork and other pork products from Japan following reports that African swine fever (ASF) “is increasingly likely to spread” in said country.

At 12 noon on Sunday (February 10) Piñol alerted the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) about the ban through Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano after receiving a link to a news article published by The Japan News confirming seven cases of ASF in Japan from October of last year through January “where pork containing the ASF virus gene was found at domestic airports.”

Piñol said the imposition of the temporary ban against the entry of pork and pork products from Japan will be in effect while quarantine officials are validating the reports with the World Animal Health Organisation.

Quarantine officers in ports of entry across the country are directed to implement the directive immediately and are advised to “review Quarantine Protocols, including the foot baths installed at the Ports of Entry and the monitoring of all meat products being brought into the country by tourists.” — UNTV News and Rescue

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100,000 jobs in Japan open to Pinoys — Bello

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 18 March 2019 12:42 AM

A Japanese flag (Image courtesy to Reuters)

Out of the 350,000 job opportunities that Japan will open to foreign nationals next month, 100,000 may likely be allotted to Filipino workers, the Department of Labor said on Sunday (March 17).

“Our workers may get at least 30 percent of available jobs for foreign nationals,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said.

A memorandum of cooperation that will provide a framework for the deployment of “specified skill workers” is set to be signed in Tokyo on Tuesday between the labor department of the Philippines and Japan’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health, Labor and Welfare and the National Police Agency.

“This agreement, aside from providing better opportunities, is geared toward ensuring their protection by means of implementing a basic framework that will promote smooth and proper mechanisms in sending, accepting, and residence management of incoming specified skilled workers in Japan,” Bello said.

Industries in need of skilled workers include health care, building maintenance, food services, industrial machinery, electronics, food manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, parts and tooling and aviation.

The agreement defines specified skilled workers as those who have a degree of skill or expertise in the field they applied for and have been granted a residence status of “specified skilled worker” by the Japanese government.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will process their accreditation while the Philippine Labor Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – Japan will verify the documents of workers.

The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) will manage the reintegration of specified skilled workers returning to the Philippines. —Aileen Cerrudo

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World’s smallest baby boy goes home from Japan hospital

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 28 February 2019 05:35 PM

Source: Keio University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

TOKYO, Japan – A baby boy weighing just 268 grams at birth was sent home after months in a Tokyo hospital, the smallest surviving male baby in the world, Keio University hospital said.

The boy was born through Caesarean-section last August after he failed to gain weight during the pregnancy and doctors feared his life was in danger.

The boy was in intensive care until his weight reached 3.2 kilograms and he was discharged on Feb. 20, said Dr. Takeshi Arimitsu of the university’s School of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics.

“I am grateful that he has grown this big because, honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive,” the boy’s mother told Reuters.

The previous record was held by a boy born in Germany in 2009 weighing 274 grams, according to the Tiniest Babies registry managed by the University of Iowa.

The smallest girl was born weighing 252 grams in Germany in 2015, according to the registry. – REUTERS

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PH bans Vietnam pork imports after reports of African Swine Fever

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 07:57 PM

A butcher prepares a couple of slaughtered pigs for meat processing

The Philippine government has ordered a temporary ban on pork products coming from Vietnam amid reports that traces of African Swine Fever (ASF) were discovered in some products from that country.

The temporary ban was issued based on the recommendation of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) following reports on the confiscation of pork products that tested positive of ASF in Taiwan.

According to Dr. Joy Ilagan, BAI’s Focal Person for Communications, there are no ASF cases reported yet in the Philippines but as part of the government’s precautionary measures against the virus, foot baths have been placed in various sea and airports in the country.

The BAI also said that the Philippines is among the countries which do not have cases of livestock diseases.

“Ang major concern ngayon is to prevent the entry of the disease, kasama diyan na lahat ng international ports and seaports coordinated siya para sa lahat ng entry ng agricultural products. I-hold muna siya, especially iyong meat kung wala silang clearances,” Ilagan said.

The National Meat Inspection Service, for its part, also conducts regular meat inspections in public markets to check the quality of meat products circulating in markets across the country.

Some meat vendors in Trabajo Market in Sampaloc, Manila and Kamuning Market in Quezon City have reported a decline in sales of pork products amid ASF reports. However, they believe that it is unlikely for the said virus to penetrate the country and infect local hogs.

“No. It cannot enter the country. Sales are less sometimes. At times there are many buyers. They say there’s this disease,” said Castillo. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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