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DA likely to revise protocol to address avian flu outbreak in the country – Sec. Piñol

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017


(FILE PHOTO) Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol


MANILA, Philippines — During Monday’s budget hearing at the Senate, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol said they are now studying the possibility of changing the protocols in addressing disease or virus outbreaks like in the case of the avian flu.

The plan is also expected to help those in the livestock industry.

Under the current guidelines, authorities have to cull all fowls affected by bird flu within the one-kilometer radius from the virus infested farm.

“Because now in Europe, the protocol is no longer like that whereas the farm that has been hit is depopulated and the rest are just put under surveillance,” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, United Broilers Raisers Association (UBRA) president, Atty. Elias Jose Inciong said, “It will increase consumer confidence, increase demand. Eventually, Sana (hopefully) sooner than later ay tumaas na yung presyo sa farm (prices at the farm will also go up).”

In line with this, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Chair Senator Cynthia Villar seeks to allocate a bigger fund for the livestock industry due to the huge impact the bird flu virus brought on poultry owners and workers.

“This is my question to you Agriculture Dept., you give 88% of your budget to crops which is producing 50% of your output, and you give 12% of the combination of fisherfolks and livestocks, I really pity those in the livestock industry…” Villar said.

Secretary Piñol said he is open to the lady Senator’s proposal.

Meanwhile, Secretary Piñol assured that the government is in control of the avian flu virus outbreak in some parts of Luzon.

Piñol said it is also impossible that the virus will spread in Visayas and Mindanao because of the tight security enforced at ports, and strict monitoring of farms across the country.

“What we are doing is that we strengthened actually the monitoring and surveillance. In fact I have directed all regional directors to conduct samplings of all farms all over the country,” Piñol said. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Pork goods from Laos banned due to African Swine Fever

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pigs are seen in a piggery at a village near Warsaw April 10, 2014. Poland has asked the European Union to intervene in a spat over Russia banning imports of Polish pork and says that the case could be taken up by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Russia suspended imports in February, citing concerns that cases of African swine fever among wild boars in Poland could spread to farmed pigs. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND – Tags: ANIMALS HEALTH POLITICS BUSINESS)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) added Laos to its list of countries where purchase and entry of pork goods to the Philippines are prohibited due to African Swine Fever (ASF).

Last month, the agency announced a temporary ban on the importation of pork goods from Laos, including domestic and wild pigs as well as pork products like pork meat, pig skin, and semen for insemination.

The ban was announced through a memorandum order issued on June 21, signed by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

The memorandum also immediately suspends the evaluation and processing of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances for pork products coming from the said country.

Likewise, all DA veterinary quarantine officers and inspectors were also instructed to block and confiscate shipments of pork goods from Laos at all major ports.

READ: DA intensifies border control amid African Swine Fever scare

Furthermore, entry of pork goods to the Philippines from the following ASF-infected countries remains in effect:

  1. Belgium
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Cambodia
  4. China
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Hungary
  8. Laos
  9. Latvia
  10. Moldova
  11. Mongolia
  12. North Korea
  13. Poland
  14. Romania
  15. Russia
  16. South Africa
  17. Ukraine
  18. Vietnam
  19. Zambia

Despite the ban, the DA maintains that the Philippines remain ASF-free.

READ: Filipinos urged to buy local pork products amid fears of African Swine Fever

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Piñol has instituted a ‘roadmap’ for DA – Usec. Cayanan

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, June 28th, 2019

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Manny Piñol continues to perform as head of the Department of Agriculture (DA) following his submission of his courtesy resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (June 27).

However, the Secretary prefers to work silently while waiting for the President’s decision on his request to be relieved and be transferred to a different Cabinet position.

READ: Piñol goes ‘less audio’ as DA chief after Duterte’s talkative’ remarks

While the President contemplates on moving Piñol to chair the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Agriculture Secretary has asked the President to pick his replacement from DA’s undersecretaries whom he believes would “ensure the continuity of the programs” that the agency has started and are now in the pipeline.

Piñol’s recommendation for the next DA chief includes current Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Legislative Liaison Officer Waldo Carpio; Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan; and Undersecretary-designate for Finance Francisco Villano.

“These officials are all competent and loyal to your ideals and advocacies. They are also familiar with the very important programs which are now in the pipeline whose implementation may be waylaid if the new head of DA would be an outsider,” the Secretary said in his letter.

Usec. Cayanan, for his part, said Secretary Piñol’s decision was unexpected.

Nevertheless, he is confident that the Department’s operations will run as planned because Piñol already laid a ‘roadmap’ for the next chief to work on.

“Ang maganda po ang ating departamento ay may mga road maps po tayo. (Our department already has a roadmap.) That, I think, (is) one of what we call accomplishments of the secretary’s administration,” Cayanan noted.

Among the challenges Secretary Piñol addressed in the DA were the outbreak of bird flu in Central Luzon in 2017 and the rice controversy in the country in 2018.

The Secretary opposed the enactment of the Rice Liberalization Law which lifted the quantitative import restriction on rice and removed the National Food Authority (NFA) regulatory functions.

The most recent was the Recto Bank incident that involved 22 Filipino fishermen allegedly hit by Chinese crewmen where President Duterte tasked Piñol to facilitate the offer of assistance to the affected fishermen. – with reports from Rey Pelayo

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Go confirms Piñol has filed courtesy resignation

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, June 28th, 2019

Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol has filed his courtesy resignation, according to Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go on Thursday (June 28).

Based on the letter submitted by Piñol, he asked the president to be relieved from his current post and be transferred to another position that will fit his skills.

“With the best interest of the Department of Agriculture and its stakeholders in mind, may I request that I be relieved from my present position as Secretary of Agriculture and reassign to whichever agency  you believe I would be effective including the Mindanao Development Authority,” Pinol said.

According to Senator Go, Piñol’s decision is possibly due to the problems regarding the rice-self sufficiency program of the DA.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is also considering transferring Piñol to the Mindanao Development Authority.

“I cannot see anybody in the horizon except Piñol who knows and grew up in Mindanao. He’s a farmer and governor…and that MinDA position is a Cabinet position,” he said during an interview with reporters on June 27.—AAC

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