Mindanao working on pork meat export requirements

Jun. 30, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Mindanao is still working on the requirements set by the Agri-food Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore for the meat packing plants to comply in-order to proceed with the plan of exporting pork to the country.

National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS XI) plant operation and inspection head Dr. Myrna Habacon in an interview said there are 21 recommendations that the meat processing plants must comply.

She did not give details on the requirements but said it must make correction of some structural deficiency and this may take some time although there are items in the recommendations that the plants already had made the necessary corrections.

At the Kapihan sa PIA on Friday, Dr. Rafael Mercado, Department of Agriculture (DA XI) chief for livestock division said that they are monitoring closely the compliance of the recommended measures set by AVA even as he said that hopefully the plan to export pork meat to Singapore would proceed by next month.

Mercado said the AVA of Singapore, which is the Philippine counterpart for NMIS, had sent officers to assess conditions of meat processing plants in the country and recommended for accreditation the Chicken Dressing in Luzon, the Mt. Matutum meat packing plant in Sarangani and the Nenita Quality Foods (NQF) of Davao City.

He said the NQF and Mt. Matutum are both in the process of making corrective measures.

In the event that NQF will not still be ready by the next two months the pork meat for export will be processed at Mt. Matutum packing plant because the latter plant had fast track some of the corrections, he said.

Mercado said NQF has a capacity of processing 50 heads per hour while the Mt. Matutum when fully operational can accommodate 250 heads an hour.

Habacon meanwhile said that as far as protocol requirements of antibiotic and other chemical residue level are concerned, the regions produce can now be classified as safe.

She also said that the region already had established records of this protocol five years backward as part of the requirement of AVA.

She however said compliance of requirements must be met at certain level before the NMIS will recommend to AVA for another round of assessment of the two pork processing plants in Mindanao so that proper accreditation will be issued.

Mercado on the other hand said that once the stringent policies set by AVA will be complied it would be an opportunity for us to access our chicken and pork products to other international markets.

The other advantage that our region has is our being free of the Foot and Mouth Disease and the Bird Flu which we had carefully been protecting to maintain such status, he said.

He said this position could economically boost the region considering that other foreign countries are looking at the Philippines especially Mindanao of sourcing out products like chicken and pork to meet their demand. (PIA XI/prixdbanzon).

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