PH bans poultry products from Russia; world’s first human transmission of bird flu detected

Marje Pelayo   •   March 4, 2021   •   286

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a temporary ban on the importation of poultry products from Russia.

Through DA Memorandum Order No. 17, the agency issued the ban after experts detected the world’s first case of human transmission of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) or H5N8 strain in the country.

The order signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar suspends the importation of domestic and wild birds and their by-products from the Russian Federation.

Specifically, these include poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen.

Reports from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) confirmed the ongoing outbreaks of the H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in several areas of the Russian Federation.

The Agriculture Chief emphasized that there is a “need to prevent the entry of HPAI virus to protect the health of the local poultry population.” 

Following the temporary ban, the DA also ordered the suspension of processing, evaluation of the application, and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance to these commodities.

READ: Philippines now free of H5N6 bird flu – DA

It should be recalled that the Philippines in January was declared free of avian influenza or bird flu by the OIE, after the elimination of avian influenza A (H5N6) that was detected in Rizal and Pampanga.

Duterte, Putin vow to further enhance PH-Russia cooperation vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   April 14, 2021

 

File Photo: (L-R) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin in a telesummit on Tuesday  to reaffirm bilateral ties of the two nations and discuss ways to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte had an “open and productive” telesummit with Putin that lasted for 30 minutes.

“President Duterte and President Putin reaffirmed their shared commitment to further enhance cooperation as the Philippines and Russia commemorate the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations this year and vowed to cooperate in the fight against COVID-19,” Roque said.

Duterte also thanked Putin for Russia’s commitment to bolster cooperation in various areas, including fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

The Palace said both leaders discussed the global and regional vaccine landscapes, noting that vaccines such as Russian-made Sputnik V “must be mobilized to as many countries as possible.”

Vaccine czar and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the country is expecting the arrival of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine doses this month. The Philippine government ordered a total 20 million Sputnik V doses.

Roque said the two chief executives stressed the importance of ramping global production and supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

Both leaders also noted the steady progress in defense and security cooperation between the two countries, fostered by regular exchanges between defense, intelligence and military agencies.

Roque said both leaders vowed to sustain the momentum gained between the Philippines and Russia over the past five years.

“President Putin highlighted the positive trajectory of Russia-Philippines relations and emphasized the many opportunities for greater cooperation in the fields of trade and investments, agriculture and energy development even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperation,” he said.

Roque said that during the telesummit, Duterte also reiterated his invitation for Putin to visit the Philippines as soon as circumstances allow, which the Russian president welcomed.

Duterte set to have phone conversation with Russia’s Putin – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to talk via phone call with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, Malacañang said Tuesday.

“I can confirm na may usapan po sa telepono ang ating presidente at ang presidente ng Russia. Yun lang po ang aking masasabi,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Roque, however, cannot say when the phone conversation will take place, saying that Duterte’s schedule is “classified secret.”

He also did not provide details on the possible issues the two leaders will talk about.

The Philippine government is eyeing to get 20 million doses of the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine.  Around 500,000 doses of Russia’s Gamaleya Institute-made Sputnik V are expected to be delivered to the country in the coming weeks.

DA to impose SRP on imported pork beginning April 9

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) on imported pork which is now cheaper than locally produced meat.

At present, the price of kasim is P270 per kilogram; while liempo costs P350 per kilogram.

Likewise, the DA will require importers and retailers to put proper labeling in each package for easy distinction and for the protection of consumers.

“The DA thru the NMIS-the National Meat Inspection Service will require importers to package their pork, of course, those 2 categories– Liempo or Kasim, into salable packages of 1 kilo or 500 grams,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Thursday (April 8) is the last day of a two-month implementation of the price cap on pork and poultry meat.

The DA plans to focus on additional strategies to prevent a further spike in the prices of such commodities.

The DA sees a possible importation of pork meat and a lowering of tariff.

But while this strategy remains pending approval, the DA will continue transporting pork from African Swine Fever-free provinces to Metro Manila to stabilize supply.

The agency also sees the repopulation of pigs in ASF-free areas.

“Iyong dati, iyong price cap will not solve the problem. Ang bottom line pa rin ay supply,” noted Dar.

“Price capping is just one of the measures. So to stabilize prices talaga you have to complete those other measures to be in place,” he added.

The DA has allocated P45-M for the procurement of freezers which will be provided to retailers.

A compliance monitoring team will also be created to ensure that retailers are observing and following the SRP.

For its part, the Trade Department hopes that an additional supply of pork will help stabilize the prices.

“I think P320 to P350 hopefully will be the ideal price moving forward. Given maybe the expected supply asahan natin na dyan po iikot ang presyo in a way medyo istable na,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

But for consumers, the implementation of the price cap remains best as they hope to hear the result of the investigation on the alleged manipulation in pork prices as soon as possible.

“Dito sa SRP suggested di ba? Suggested retail prices. So malikot pa rin ang presyo sa palengke,” said the group’s representative Atty. Vic Dimagiba. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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