DA lifts importation ban on pork products from Belgium

Marje Pelayo   •   October 28, 2020   •   175

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), has lifted the temporary ban on importation of domestic pigs and pig products including pork meat and semen originating from Belgium.

In a memorandum signed on October 26, the agency said that the European country has recovered from the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in domestic and wild pigs, based on the report of Belgium’s Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Jean Francois Heymans.

The report said ASF affected only wild boars and the last documented case was reported in March 2020.

Based on the documents submitted by the veterinary services of Belgium, and after thorough evaluation of BAI, the risk of contamination from importing domestic pigs and their products from Belgium is negligible, the agency said.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar stressed however, that despite the lifting of the ban, importations of pig and pig products from Belgium must comply with certain conditions imposed by the agency. 

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DA includes beef, vegetables in expanded suggested retail price

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday said it has issued new suggested retail prices (SRP) for more basic agriculture commodities following the Luzon-wide price freeze imposed as a result of recent calamities in the country.

The DA said it issued the new SRP to manage prices amid tightened supply and “to not aggravate the current difficulties” of those affected by the pandemic and the previous typhoons.

The new SRP was issued under DA Administrative Circular No. 16 signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Nov. 20.

The circular covers the following 14 prime commodities, namely beef, lowland vegetables, and highland vegetable products and their respective prices per kilogram:

  • Beef rump – P380
  • Beef brisket – P300
  • Ampalaya – P80
  • Sitaw – P80
  • Pechay (native) – P80
  • Squash – P30
  • Eggplant – P60
  • Tomato – P100
  • Cabbage (Scorpio) – P60
  • Carrots – P80
  • Habitchuelas (Baguio beans) – P100
  • White potato – P70
  • Pechay (Baguio) – P60
  • Chayote – P30

The DA said the SRP shall be applicable in wet markets and public markets in Metro Manila.

The circular takes effect immediately after publication on its website.

“The SRP remains in effect until 60 days from publication and/or posting unless revoked and/or lifted or another circular is issued to the same effect,” the department said.

DA issues import ban on bird products from Altforst village, The Netherlands

Marje Pelayo   •   November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday (November 10) issued a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products originating from the village of Altforst in the Dutch province of Gelderland, the Netherlands.

According to DA, a veterinary report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in The Hague said there is an outbreak of H5N8 highly pathogenic Avian Influenza in the area affecting parent broiler stock poultry.

Thus, the ban also covers poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs and semen coming from the said village, the DA said.

In line with this, the processing, evaluation of application and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance for the above products is also suspended.

Meanwhile, all incoming poultry meat shipments with SPS import clearance issued on or before October 30 will be allowed entry provided that the frozen poultry meat has a slaughter date of 21 days prior to the start of the outbreak on October 8.

All shipments that do not comply with the veterinary quarantine protocols will be confiscated.

The importation ban has taken effect on November 6 as signed by the DA Secretary William Dar.

DA to roll out ‘first of its kind’ food aid e-voucher system for farmers, fisherfolk

Marje Pelayo   •   November 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is now set to roll out its newly-developed and first of its kind e-voucher system for farmers and fisherfolks.

The DA on November 9 signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the implementation of the Cash and Food Subsidy to Marginal Farmers and Fishers Program (CFSMFFP) set to begin this month.

The e-voucher system is seen to streamline the process of providing cash and food assistance to marginal farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihood was severely affected by the pandemic.

By using the e-voucher system, beneficiaries can claim their cash assistance by presenting a unique reference code sent by the implementing agencies via text message, together with their government-issued ID at any DBP-accredited payout centers.

The food assistance can be claimed at any “Kadiwa” supplier accredited by the DA.

Under the MOA, registered beneficiaries under Eligible Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) will receive P5,000 worth of food and financial assistance.

The said amount is broken down into P3,000 cash and P2,000-worth of rice and egg assistance. The program’s budget of P4.5-B is part of the DA’s budget under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. MNP / Raymund David

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