Port congestion may affect supply of pork, chicken this Christmas
While the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Bureau of Customs (BOC) has to be extra vigilant this Christmas season, it also requested the latter to be a little flexible on legitimate food shipments.
In a Manila Bulletin report, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol denied that there will be a shortfall in meat products this Christmas but he also said there’s a need for BoC to be flexible on handling shipments of certain imported products like pork, rice, and chicken so they could be distributed in the local markets on time.
“I asked them to be a little flexible on shipments on food items,” Piñol said in the report.
“But [on the possible entry of smuggled pig products] we will have to be very vigilant,” he added.
To recall, the hog population of China, one of the country’s top sources for processed meat products like ham, was recently hit by the African Swine Flu.
As a response, the Philippines temporarily banned the importation of domestic and wild pigs and their products including pork meat and semen originating from China and other affected countries like Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine.
Piñol said the country currently imports about 54,000 metric tons of pork every year under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV), while a considerable volume of Offals are also imported by meat processors.