“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 but also the first world countries like the United States of America (USA).
Piñol said that recently, a shipment of processed pork products that came from China have been 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 can 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 (OFW) that it is prohibited to bring into the country the 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 baggages are being checked and confiscate if they found processed pork products from their baggages.
Piñol was referring to the recent incident wherein the 32 cans of Maling, a processed pork product, brought by an OFW from Hong Kong were confiscated. But said banned products were eventually released to the said OFW upon the intercession of broadcaster Raffy Tulfo.
“May cut-off date ang importation ng luncheon meat mula sa China at maaring ang mga binebenta ay hindi saklaw ng ban o maaring smuggled sapagkat alam ng Bureau of Customs na bawal ito ipasok sa bansa,” he added.
He further stressed that travelers must not insist on their distorted reason that they do not know there is a ban in the entry of these pork products coming from said countries.
“Alam man ninyo o nabasa man ninyo o hindi, kapag sinita kayo ng quarantine officers sa airport, hinihiling po namin na sumunod kayo. Sa mga nagsasabi na OFW ang tinatarget ng kampanya na ito, maling-mali po kayo. Ang haba ng listahan ng mga dayuhan na nakumpiskahan ng mga bawal na dala ng karne,” Piñol explained.
He reiterated that this campaign applies to all and there is no place for “palakasan” system.
“Doon sa mga nagsasabi na kaya lang hinaharang ang mga shipment dahil gusto magkapera ng mga tauhan ko sa airport, masyado nyo naman kami ini-insulto at minamaliit. Kung gusto naming mangurakot sa gobyerno, hindi Maling na de lata ang titirahin namin. Maraming malalaking transaksyon pero hindi kami sumasawsaw dyan.
Iba na ang gobyerno ngayon sa ilalim ni Pangulong Rody Duterte at alam namin na ipapahiya at tatanggalin kami ng Pangulo kung gagawin namin iyan,” Piñol stressed.