PH temporarily bans poultry products from Australia amid bird flu outbreak

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2020   •   1254

The Philippine government has implemented a temporary ban on poultry products from Australia following the bird flu outbreak in the said country.

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary William Dar issued Memorandum Order No. 40 series of 2020 on August 14 which was released to the media on Wednesday (August 19). The memorandum states the ban of importing poultry products including chicken meat and eggs from Australia.

On July 31, the Australian government reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N7 in Victoria, Australia.

Meanwhile, meat processors raised concerns over possible shortage of mechanically deboned chicken (MDM) due to the said temporary ban. According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Incorporated (PAMPI), MDM is a common ingredient for emulsified products like meatloaf, hotdog, siomai and others.

The DA recently implemented a temporary ban on poultry products from Brazil after a batch of frozen chicken wings from said country reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Due to this, PAMPI spokesperson Rex Agarrado said this could affect canned goods companies.

“The travel time in the Philippines to Brazil or Brazil to the Philippines is five to six weeks; eight weeks if you go to Cebu. You will realize that in a matter of time, 6 weeks from now, 7 weeks from now, you will see some brands not being available in the market anymore,” he said.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Ronnie Domingo, however, assured the supply of imported chicken in the country will not be affected by the import bans. Domingo also said there is a 150-day surplus of chicken in the country.

“Marami po tayong bansa na kinukuhanan ng manok. Labing apat na bansa po iyon. Hindi po natin sinarado po iyon at ikalawa, sobra po ang manok natin this year, (We get our chicken supply from numerous countries. There are 14 of them. We also have a surplus of supply this year)” he said. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

700K AstraZeneca vaccine doses donated by Australia arrive in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Some 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Australian government arrived in the Philippines Wednesday morning, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

The shipment  landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 around 9:45 a.m.

Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson handed over the vaccines to NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III upon its arrival.

Robinson said these vaccine doses are part of their government’s domestic supply.

He said that overall, the Australian government will provide a total of 3.6 million vaccine doses to the Philippines by the end of 2022.

Philippine authorities thanked the Australian government for its generosity and substantial donation of vaccines.

The delivery of AstraZeneca doses comes ahead of the country’s upcoming three-day national vaccination drive on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 which aims to to inoculate 15 million Filipinos.

To date, more than 33.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since the vaccination drive was launched in March.

 

Australia donates more oxygen concentrators to PH for COVID-19 patients

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has received another batch of oxygen concentrators from the Australian government as part of its continuing support to the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the NTF said the 100 oxygen concentrators arrived in Manila on Thursday.

The first batch of oxygen concentrators were delivered last August 28.

“Australia is increasing its commitment to the Philippines in terms of COVID-19 support, and we’re increasing our commitment by further [to] P433 million to make a grand total of P1.8 billion that Australia is donating to the Philippines,” Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson said during a press conference following the turn-over.

The NTF said the first batch of the medical equipment was distributed to 27 hospitals across the country.

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the donation is vital to the country’s clinical management of the country’s severe and critical COVID cases.

“This will go a long way in improving the quality of care that we provide our patients in the several hospitals that have been benefited by these pieces of equipment,” Duque added.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. thanked Australia for its compassion and generosity to the Filipino people.

“This life-saving oxygen concentrator will go a long way and a lot of people will be saved, thousands of them because of these concentrators,” Galvez said.

Aside from its donation of medical equipment and contribution to the COVAX facility, Australia, in partnership with UNICEF, will also provide over 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines.

The said vaccine donations are expected to arrive in the country by the fourth quarter of this year.

AFP gets P57M worth of medical equipment, supplies from Australian government

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received about P57 million worth of medical equipment, supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Australian Government.

In a statement, the AFP said the donated items were turned over to the military in a ceremony held at Pier 15, South Harbor in Manila on Tuesday, September 28.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr. led the ceremony with Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson AO handing over the donation.

“Throughout this unpredictable COVID19 pandemic, I am very pleased that Australia is able to provide flexible and responsive support to the Philippines. These additional medical and personal protective equipment will be critical in VLMC’s COVID-19 testing efforts, and treatment of COVID patients,” Robinson said.

“The turnover of donations from the Australian Government is a clear testament of the collaborative partnership that both our respective nations and military forces continue to nurture and sustain, as we aspire to work together in promoting the welfare of our people and country,” Lt. Gen. Faustino said.

Lorenzana, for his part, conveyed the Defense Department’s gratitude and appreciation to the country’s long-standing strategic partner.

“The Australian Government has expanded the coverage of its Defense Cooperation Program to include the pandemic needs of Filipino Soldiers; a gesture that conveys the message that we are not alone in this fight,” he said.

“Certainly, these donations will ramp up the day-to-day clinical management and quality of care and service which AFP’s medical arm is expected to provide,” he added.

The AFP said the donated equipment and supplies will be turned over to the AFP’s primary military hospital, the Victoriano Luna Medical Center (VLMC) to support its COVID19 response, testing efforts and capacity for hospitalization of minor to critical patients.

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