Pork products from China on tight watch
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is keeping a tighter watch on the country’s air and seaports to stop the entry of prohibited pork and pork products from China and prevent the spread of the new strain of swine flu, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Thursday.
But “smuggling and the importation of prohibited products from other countries,” remain the problem most of the time, Dar said at a Laging Handa briefing.
He also appealed to businessmen to stop illegally importing these products from China as an outbreak of swine flu could only add to the problems of a country already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Quarantine measures have been increased in the ports, he added.
A study published in the US science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that G4, the new type of swine flu, was capable of triggering a pandemic.
In the same briefing, Dar said the country had an inventory of rice for of up to 82 days.
By the end of the year, the country would have a low of 78 days and a high of 100 days worth of rice inventory based on the supply and demand outlook, he said.
Dar issued the assurance after the Philippines stopped its planned government-to-government importation of 300,000 metric tons of rice.
The DA official said the agency had a P240-billion budget proposal for 2021, and P66 billion to provide a stimulus package.
The P66 billion would be used to expand and support food production in the country, set up big food markets in critical areas in the country, and implement a cash-for-work program covering rainwater harvesting and the desilting of irrigation systems.
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