“WE must always be alert since the African Swine Fever (ASF) problem is now causing concerns worldwide!”
This is the warning issued by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol as he disclosed that not only the Philippines is on guard against the entry of processed pork products and other pork but also the first world countries including the United States of America.
Piñol said that recently, a shipment of processed pork products that came from China was confiscated when it tried to enter US.
He warned that this incident might also happen in the country if the entry ports will not be strictly monitored and secured and it can damage the country’s P200-billion hog industry.
In this regard, Piñol sought the help of his colleagues in the government, particularly the Bureau of Customs, to strictly implement the memorandum which banned the entry of shipment of any pork products, including canned or processed products from several countries with the presence of ASF.
Those countries are China, including Hong Kong and Macau and other Chinese territories; Vietnam and Cambodia in Southeast Asia; Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Latvia, Moldova, Poland and Mongolia in Europe and Eastern Europe.
Piñol reminded Filipino tourists and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that it is prohibited to bring into the country pork products that came from these countries.
“Kukumpiskahin po ito sa airport of entry ninyo at pagbabayarin kayo ng multa na P200,000. Hindi po ninyo puedeng ikatwiran na hindi ninyo alam sapagkat Agosto pa noong nakaraang taon ay nagpapalabas na ng impormasyon ang ating gobyerno patungkol sa isyu na ito,” Piñol stressed.
He further averred that incoming travelers cannot argue with the quarantine officers assigned in the airports when their baggage is being checked and confiscated if processed pork products are found in the luggage.
Piñol was referring to the recent incident involving 32 cans of Maling, a processed pork product, brought by an OFW from Hong Kong, which were confiscated. But the banned products were eventually released to the OFW upon the intercession of broadcaster Raffy Tulfo.to sa kapakanan ng lahat,” he added.