PH Bureau of Customs, Animal Industry dispose of ASF-tainted food products

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2020   •   345

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC), together with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said it has completed the disposal of a shipment of food items that were tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF).

The BOC said the shipment, which included food products such as pork-chicken balls, dumplings, and roast chicken wings were disposed of using a heat-assisted method called thermolysis or thermal decomposition at the facility of Integrated Waste Management at Trece Martirez in Cavite on February 7.

The bureau said the food shipment, consigned to Dynamic M Intl Trading Inc., arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MCIP) on December 11, 2019, from China.

An alert order was issued on the container on December 17.

The shipment was initially inspected by the Customs at the Designated Examination Area in MICP and was transferred to the consignee’s warehouse at Goldkey Bldg, Toklong, Kawit, Cavite for the conduct of 100% physical examination by the interagency team.

“It was seized last January 24, 2020, after the Veterinary Quarantine Services of BAI found a sample of the pork-celery dumpling to be ASF-positive,” the BOC added.

The bureau assured that the food items were first disinfected by the BAI before these were transported to the Integrated Waste Management Facility for disposal.

Bureau of Customs turns over P13.2-M worth of seized marijuana to PDEA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2020

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday (April 6) turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 11.569 kilograms of seized marijuana with an estimated value of P13.2 million.

The customs examiner suspected some irregularities when upon physical examination of 14 cans labeled as a healthy meal formula, the labels were found to be movable and not permanently attached.

This prompted the examiner to have the cans opened that revealed to contain plastic sachets of leaves suspected to be marijuana.

The items were also subjected to K9 sniffing which indicated the presence of illegal drugs, prompting a chemical analysis by PDEA which affirmed the findings of BOC-Clark personnel.

On 30 March 2020, Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) were issued by District Collector Ruby Alameda against the subject shipments for violation of R.A. No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Air quality in Beijing improves due to coronavirus lockdown

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

As the whole world is struggling to fight the coronavirus pandemic, one of the unexpected outcomes for Chinese people is more clean skies.

China had a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities like Beijing during February, when factories and streets were closed as authorities attempted to stop the spread of the virus, according to the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus satellite image.

Analysis by Greenpeace shows that the pollutant emissions in Beijing and its surrounding areas dropped by more than 40% year-on-year in February.

Compared to previous years, the air in the capital has seen a big improvement during the outbreak. Streets and landmarks are no longer covered in smog.

Beijing resident Liu Chuan takes this as a potential health benefit, saying that he could even see stars at night after work.

“It feels like the air is overall much less polluted than it used to be. It also improves people’s mood, and indirectly strengthens the immunity. It’s good for fighting the virus,” added Liu.

However, expert warns the air pollution and carbon emissions may soon reappear as Chinese factories are ramping up output in an effort to offset the economic hit of coronavirus.

“We can’t rule out the possibility that it may cause air pollution frequently if a large scale of high-polluting industries resume production,” said Lyn Liu, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. (Reuters)

(Production: Irene Wang, Shubing Wang, Joyce Zhou, Natalie Thomas)

China advises foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying

China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.

Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)

(Production: Shubing Wang, Irene Wang)

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