Pig and producers have agreed not to push through with their planned 'market holiday' after the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) vowed to enforce quarantine inspection on agricultural products that enter the Philippine ports.
The agreement was reached during a meeting Tuesday between pig and poultry farmers and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon, Bureau of Animal Industry and National Meet Inspection Service chiefs. Edwin Chen, president of the Pork Producers of the Philippines, one of the groups clamouring for the halt of meat smuggling, said their problem was solved with the DA-quarantine inspection of agricultural products unloaded at ports.
Alcala said he was glad an agreement has been reached on the problem of meat smuggling besetting the two industries.
The problem started when the hog raisers threatened to declare a “pork holiday” several months ago because of the meat smuggling they alleged killing their livelihood. They blamed Commissioner Biazon for not showing them the Cargo Inward Foreign Manifests (IFM) if the imported goods/meats were undervalued or if the declared value was lower than the reference price.
The problem aggravated when the Department of Finance, denied Alcala's request for IFM.
There was an agreement arrived during the meeting that the IFM will now be given to the DA quarantine officers who will inspect the imported agricultural products prior to customs’ processing and collection of duties and taxes.
Proceso Alcala said he would write the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Trade and Industry notifying them of what was agreed upon that the reference price for imported agricultural products would be required from the manufacturers and confirmed by their respective ambassadors.
Source: Zamboanaga Today
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