Pork, garlic, onion production not threatened by Asian Integration – Abono

February 23, 2015 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES – The chair of the farmers group Abono Party-List (APL) said onion, garlic, and meat supplies in the country are not threatened by the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).
AFTA took effect last January 1 this year. It covers the almost non-tariff exchange of products within the 10 members Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are voting members while Papua New Guinea is an observer in the body.
APL chairman Rosendo So said onion and garlic are from China while meat are from the United States and European countries.
APL Chair So said the belief that AFTA, with its no-tariff regulation, could discourage smugglers.
So just met with Senator Grace Poe during which they discussed AFTA, agricultural trades with the US and Europe, and the weak policies of the Department of Agriculture on the imports from other countries.
“Gusto natin malaman kung hanggang saan sila, hanggang saan tayo kung paano ba ang export natin doon, ano ba ang hinahanap sa atin. Dapat ang sinasabi natin iyong export natin, tapos may food safety sila (other countries) doon na hindi basta-basta pumapasok ang kargamento sa kabila dapat kung ano ang safety natin dito dapat doon ganoon din,” he stressed.

He said for several months, Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo R. Serrano, head of the department’s Policy, Planning, Research & Development and Regulations, have been assailed by farmers organization on the way he handles the importation of agricultural products.
“ USEC Serrano was concerned with export, but with import he has not much concept,” he said.
So cited the disturbing reports of smuggling of garlic, chicken, rice, pork, and others in the ports of Mindanao.
He said one record showed that five million kilos of a certain product from Mainland China entered the Philippines but records in the Philippines showed it was only 87 kilos.

Entry filed under: News.

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