PH declares temporary import ban on pigs from Germany

Marje Pelayo   •   September 12, 2020   •   574

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Saturday (September 12) announced a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild pigs, pork products, and by-products from Germany.

In a press release, the agency explained that the ban was imposed after the confirmation of the first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Schenkendöbern, Spree-Neiße, Brandenburg, affecting wild boar, as confirmed by Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (National laboratory). 

The import ban followed a report submitted by chief veterinary officer, Dr. Dietrich Rassow of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Berlin, to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), on September 10, 2020. 

Likewise, Agriculture Secretary William Dar also issued an immediate suspension of the processing and evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance to domestic and wild pigs, pork products, and by-products from Germany.

Following the announcement of the temporary import ban, all shipments of pigs, pork, and pork products from Germany into the Philippines will be confiscated by all DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) veterinary quarantine officers at all major ports of entry, the DA said.

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

Marje Pelayo   •   March 4, 2021

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.

Consumer group calls for transparency on alleged manipulation of pork prices

Marje Pelayo   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A consumer group is asking the government to release the result of its investigation on the alleged manipulation of pork prices and supply in the country. 

Laban Konsyumer wants to put an end to the allegation of price and supply manipulation of pork in the country.

Laban Konsyumer president, Atty. Vic Dimagiba, said that if the result of the investigation proves that the price of pork is reasonable, consumer confidence will be regained.

Should there be no manipulation, the names of the businessmen would be cleared.

“Kailangan ang mga tao dapat managot kung may mananagot, whether private individuals or public officials,” Dimagiba said.

“Iyong nagkulang sa paggawa niya ng trabaho ay ilabas na at magsampa ng kaso kung meron naman. kung wala naman isara na nila yung imbestigasyon dahil mabalik din naman yung tiwala ng mga negosyante na hindi sila pinagsisishan ng pamahalaan,” he added.

The group also stands on the side of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the implementation of the price ceiling.

The DA said that the intervention is effective because it already decreased the prices of pork by P100 per kilogram.

“Sa monitoring namin meron pang nagtitinda P350 to P360 pero wala na yung P400 to P450. In effect the price ceiling is successful kasi marami pa rin naman bumebenta ng P270 to P300 na sumusunod,” explained DA Asec. Arnel de Mesa.

On the other hand, Manny Pereja, the market master in Las Piñas Market has filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the price ceiling.

“Iyan ang pinaka last resort na nakikita ko na kwestyunin ang Constitutionality ng batas na iyan dahil hindi naman nagre-reflect talaga sa tunay na estado ng ating bilihan talaga o nung hog industry,” Pereja said.

DA officials, however, assure that there will be enough supply in the coming days.

“Ginarantiya na meron na tayong enough supply tomorrow, 100% sa requirement nila,” National Coordinator of DA-Bantay Presyo Jerry Pelayo said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

UK, Germany requesting more health workers from the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the demand for health workers all over the world.

In the Philippines, the national government put in place a deployment cap of 5,000 health workers for 2021 to make sure that the country will have a sufficient number in case the COVID-19 infection worsens.

But the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany appealed to the Philippines to deploy more health workers given that the country is one of the top exporters of this field and expertise.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), there is an ongoing negotiation on this request.

The Philippine government, however, has several conditions before approving the matter.

One is that the requesting countries, in return, should give the Philippines COVID-19 vaccines.

“Ang nire-request ni Secretary Bello ay para sa ating mga OFWs. So ito ang mga OFWs na na-repatriate na dito including yung mga OFWs din na papaalis,” explained DOLE Director for International Labor Affairs Alice Visperas.

The official said there are around 600,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated and some of them were redeployed.

“Karamihan sa mga bansa ngayon na kumukuha ng workers. Gusto nila may vaccine na yung kukunin nilang workers. Darating din ang panahon baka hindi na sila kukuha pag hindi pa nabibigyan ng vaccine,” Visperas noted.

Another condition is the renegotiation for Labor agreement in favor of OFWs in the said countries.

DOLE said the matter is now on the ministerial level and is, so far, receiving a possible response.

But the Filipino Nurses United seemed offended with the way the government is treating the country’s nurses.

“Sa FNU na turn off kmi, disgusted na parang commodities o export products trato sa amin ng gobyerno,” the group said in a statement.

“Two separate issues iyon. Kung gustong mag-abroad ng nurses karapatan nila iyon. Huwag gamiting trade off. Kung kailangan natin ng bakuna, mag procure,” it added.

The Philippine Nurses Association, on the other hand, supports the government on the matter but as for the number, there should be a careful study first as to how many nurses will be allowed to leave.

“Kung manggagaling yan sa government and merong benefit ang Pilipinas with that I think we should welcome yung idea,” noted PNA President Melbert Reyes.

“But it should make sure sana na may maiiwan dito sa Pilipinas to take care of our people,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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