DA PUTS UP FOOD INSPECTION POINTS
The government will further strengthen on-site border control inspections for imported animals, plants, meat, and other farm and fishery products arriving in major international seaports in the country.
Led by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), it has started laying the groundwork for the establishment of the first-border inspection (FBI) facilities in the country’s major ports, starting at the Manila International Container Port.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the FBI will be conducted on all animals, plants, fisheries, and related agricultural products arriving from other countries.
“The FBI facilities will be one of the major accomplishments of the Duterte administration as biosecurity measures like quarantine checks are needed to protect animal, plant and public health, and animal welfare,” said secretary Dar.
The FBI facilities will also be put up at Manila South Harbor, Subic Freeport Zone, Port of Batangas, Cebu International Port, and Port of Davao.
BAI Director Ronnie Domingo said coordination meetings with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), concerned officials of the MICP, and other five major ports have started since February this year to identify suitable, available and strategic locations.
Each facility — to be manned by at least 39 technical personnel— will house an Agriculture Commodity Examination Area (ACEA) and crematorium.
Domingo said the ACEAs have been present in all developed countries as part of their strengthened food safety and quarantine inspection regulations. These border control facilities will be the first ACEAs to be established in the country.
The ACEA, with its controlled temperature environment, will capacitate the quarantine officers to thoroughly inspect the contents of an identified high-risk containerized agricultural shipment.
Each ACEA will feature a laboratory to enable the immediate testing of samples from commodities suspected to carry animal, fish or plant pests or diseases and other hazardous contents.