PH bans pork imports from Japan due to ASF

admin   •   February 10, 2019   •   4067

FILE PHOTO: Pork meat being sold at a wet market

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered an immediate ban on the entry of pork and other pork products from Japan following reports that African swine fever (ASF) “is increasingly likely to spread” in said country.

At 12 noon on Sunday (February 10) Piñol alerted the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) about the ban through Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano after receiving a link to a news article published by The Japan News confirming seven cases of ASF in Japan from October of last year through January “where pork containing the ASF virus gene was found at domestic airports.”

Piñol said the imposition of the temporary ban against the entry of pork and pork products from Japan will be in effect while quarantine officials are validating the reports with the World Animal Health Organisation.

Quarantine officers in ports of entry across the country are directed to implement the directive immediately and are advised to “review Quarantine Protocols, including the foot baths installed at the Ports of Entry and the monitoring of all meat products being brought into the country by tourists.” — UNTV News and Rescue

Phl inflation slows down in November — PSA

Maris Federez   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The inflation rate in the country slowed down in November, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Tuesday (December 7).

The PSA said the country’s inflation “continued to exhibit a slower pace as it eased further to 4.2 percent in November 2021, from 4.6 percent in October 2021”.

The average inflation from January to November 2021 remained at 4.5 percent. Inflation in November 2020 was posted at 3.3 percent.

The reason behind the downtrend in the overall inflation in November 2021 was the slow movement in the price index of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 3.9 percent inflation.

“Ang dahilan ng pagbagal ng antas ng inflation nitong  Nobyembre 2021 ay ang mas mabagal na paggalaw ng presyo ng food and non-alcoholic beverages na may 3.9 % inflation at  93.2 % share sa pagbaba ng pangkalahatang inflation sa bansa,” PSA national statistician Dennis Claire Mapa said.

In addition, lower inflation was also recorded in the price of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 7.5 percent, and furnishing, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house at 2.4 percent.

A downward trend was also registered in the inflation for food index as it slowed down further to 4.1 percent in November 2021, from 5.6 percent in the previous month.

By specific food item, the annual growth rate of vegetables dropped by -1.8 percent during the month, after posting a double-digit annual increase of 11.4 percent in October 2021.

Moreover, annual increases in the indices of meat and fish, slid at 10.7 and 7.9 percent, respectively.

However, on a month-on-month basis, both meat and pork recorded positive inflation at 2.4 and 4.2 percent, respectively.

“Pork prices continuously went down month-on-month from July to early-October. This means that our policy to temporarily import pork has been effective. However, the uptick in prices in November shows that we need to further ease administrative requirements for the unloading and distribution of stocks to encourage more importation and help bring back pork prices to their pre-African Swine Fever level,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said.

On the other hand, the PSA also noted that non-food inflation slightly rose to 4.1 percent from 3.8 percent for the same period.

This was caused mainly by high international crude oil prices, which drove up transport inflation to 8.8 percent from 7.1 percent.

Slight increase in inflation was also reflected in housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 4.6 percent from 4.4 percent. —/mbmf

Japan pledges food aid to Bangsamoro farmers, fisherfolks

Robie de Guzman   •   November 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government of Japan has committed to provide 350 million yen in food assistance to farmers, fisherfolks, and other vulnerable sectors in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), its embassy in Manila said Thursday.

In a statement, the embassy said the grant aid will be implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP), which will procure approximately 1,788 metric tons of Japanese rice for distribution to beneficiaries.

The project seeks to support around 9,877 farming and fishing households, including decommissioned combatants and indigenous peoples in Bangsamoro.

“To supplement the food and nutrition needs of the targeted population, the Japanese rice will be fortified with iron prior to distribution,” the embassy said.

“Through this undertaking, vulnerable and conflict-affected communities in BARMM are expected to have improved food security, resilience, and livelihood, which will enhance peace and achieve development in the Region,” it added.

The food aid project for BARMM was signed between Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko and WFP Representative and Country Director Brenda Barton.

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Theresa Lazaro and BARMM Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform Deputy Minister Ammal Solaiman also witnessed the event.

Philippines thanks Japan for over 3M donated AstraZeneca shots

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government on Friday expressed its gratitude to Japan for its donation of more than 3 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

In a statement, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines is inching closer to hitting its vaccination targets for the year 2021 through the support of its international partners.

Galvez issued the statement after the Philippines received 896,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Japanese government on Thursday,

The latest vaccine shipment is part of the 1,961,600 Japan-donated vaccine doses that are scheduled to arrive this week.

“These donated vaccines will enable the Philippines to realize its goal of achieving a daily jab rate of 1.5 million doses, and fully vaccinate at least 50 million Filipinos by year end,” Galvez said.

“The arrival of this latest vaccine donation from Japan comes at a crucial time, as the Philippines continues to expand the coverage of its vaccine rollout, which now includes minors within the 12 to 17 age group,” he added.

Another shipment consisting of 1,065,600 AstraZeneca doses are set to arrive on October 30, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

Japan had donated 1,124,100 AstraZeneca doses back in July, bringing its total donated vaccines to the Philippines to 3,085,700.

“This means that one million Filipinos throughout the country will be protected against the deadly virus,” Galvez said.

For his part, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa emphasized the importance of vaccines in preventing the spread of COVID-19, drawing from their experience back in Japan.

“In Japan, we are currently seeing astonishing successes in our vaccination program. The rate of adult vaccination has increased significantly, and the number of new infection cases a day had declined dramatically,” Koshikawa said.

“I expect the same thing would happen soon in the Philippines,” he added.

As of October 27, the Philippines has administered a total of 57,494,154 jabs nationwide, of which 26,479,029 Filipinos are now fully vaccinated, while 31,015,126 have received the first dose.

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