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Meat processors confer with DA to review border inspection rules


MEAT processing companies said they met with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to review the import inspection process and whether to adopt the international system for classifying regions where livestock diseases have broken out.

In a statement, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) said its representatives met with Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban and other officials to go through the policies affecting the industry.

They reviewed the rules on first border inspection of imports ahead of the establishment of the long-delayed Cold Examination Facility for Agricultural goods, the first of which is expected to rise at the Subic Bay Freeport.

The two sides discussed the potential adoption of the World Organization for Animal Health’s guidelines for zoning regions suffering from outbreaks of animal disease.

“The (DA) can help us with science-based food safety and inspection systems, access to safe and nutritious meat materials from both local and global sources, and constant collaboration to further refine food safety standards,” PAMPI told reporters on Thursday.

PAMPI promised to help keep processed meat products affordable for consumers.

“As we represent 85% of the country’s meat processors and food chains, we are committed to provide safe and affordable meat protein to the vast majority of consumers,” the association said.

Mr. Panganiban said he has directed the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and National Inspection Service (NMIS) to address the industry’s concerns. No further details of the discussions were given.

Other officials at the meeting were Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel V. De Mesa, BAI Director Paul C. Limson, NMIS Director Clarita M. Sangcal, and PAMPI Vice-President Jerome D. Ong. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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