Japan’s recognition of the Philippines as a country with confirmed HACCP Certified Meat Establishments

The Philippines was confirmed and included by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) in its list of certified countries that reliably take Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) based hygiene management on May 26, 2021. Under Japan’s Food Sanitation Law, only meat manufactured with HACCP-based hygiene management can be imported into their country.

The Philippines has been exporting chicken meat to Japan, but as a result of this new recognition, we are now eligible to export beef, carabeef, pork, chevon, mutton, and their by-products to Japan. The MHLW has also notified its quarantine stations for the acceptance of the health certificates of the different meat commodities.

According to Dr. Jocelyn A. Salvador, National Meat Inspection Service’s (NMIS) OIC-Executive Director, the significance of this move from Japan is that “they rely upon and trust our systems of certification.” It means that if the Philippines certify certain meat establishments and meat products, Japan will automatically accept this certification without a doubt. But that does not mean that the Philippines has just submitted the requirements to be certified by Japan. Dr. Salvador added that Japan also has a verification process, and the Philippines has passed it. “It also implies that the systems of certification of the Philippines are at par with the global standards,” she added.

Since 2003, NMIS has implemented the mandatory application of the HACCP program in all licensed “AAA” meat establishments. This is an internationally recognized system that is science-based and systematic. It identifies hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. # # # (Alexandra D. Robel /DA-NMIS)

Abra farmers receive farm tractors from NTA

Five tobacco farmers’ cooperatives and associations in Abra were the latest beneficiaries of the Tobacco Farm Mechanization Program (TFMT) of the National Tobacco Administration.

The ceremonial turnover of P6.25 million worth of farm machineries to the representatives of each farmers’ group was held at the NTA Abra Office in Bangued, Abra on Tuesday.

The cooperatives/associations each received 40-HP Massey Ferguson four-wheel tractors, including rotavators and trailers. They are the Agtangao Tobacco Farmers Association (Agtangao, Bangued), Velasco Tobacco Farmers Association (Velasco, Tayum), NTA Bolbolo Farmers Association (Bolbolo, Pilar), Dalnatan Tobacco Farmers Association, Inc. (Dalnatan, Dolores), and Angkilat-Bananao-Daddao Farmers Association (Barit, Luba).

In his message for the event, NTA Administrator/CEO Robert Victor G. Seares Jr. said the agency implements the farm mechanization under the farm facility assistance program to improve production yield and increase farmers’ income. 

“We assure our farmers of our continuous efforts to implement our flagship programs to uplift their economic status, especially in these challenging times of the pandemic,” Administrator Seares said.

Acting Deputy Administrator for Operations Engr. Cesario G. Sambrana, in a video message, said the implementation of the farm mechanization program is a collective effort of the farmers and the agency to enhance quality tobacco production and sustain the tobacco industry.

The distribution was led by NTA Branch Manager Minerva P. Mizal and Director Danilo C. Trongco of the NTA Governing Board.

Before the distribution, Jose A. Taclas Jr, acting Chief Agriculturist for NTA Abra, explained the guidelines of the farm mechanization program to the farmers, stressing on the importance of upholding good reputation as a cooperative to avail of the facility assistance from NTA.

This is the second distribution of farm machineries in the province. The first distribution was held on February 2020 at the Branch Office with six tractors awarded to selected farmers’ organizations during a ceremony graced by the late Administrator Robert L. Seares.

The TFMP aims to modernize field activities on tobacco production using new technologies and packages of farm machineries for the block farming.  # # # (Text & Photo by Melanie Rapiz-Parel / DA-NTA)

PFDA-NFPC unloads 4.5K MT of fish as PH enters rainy season

Philippine Fisheries Development Authority – Navotas Fish Port Complex (PFDA-NFPC) has welcomed the onset of the rainy season with a significantly high unloading volume ever recorded, according to the agency’s Modified Integrated Corporate Reporting System (MICRS) for PFDA Regional Fish Ports.

During the June 1 to 7, 2021 period, records showed that PFDA-NFPC unloaded 4,464.37 metric tons (MT) of fish supply. By far, this record is one of the highest volumes ever recorded since the start of the second quarter.

Aside from that, this week’s volume was the highest start-of-the-month unloading record compared to April and May.

Galunggong remained as the number one fish species with the highest supply. Bangus, sardines, dalagang-bukid, and tilapia were also on the top common species with the highest availability record.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), intermittent and occasional above normal rainfall conditions brought by the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat will affect Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

Regardless of these unprecedented weather conditions, PFDA-NFPC is up and ready to conquer the pouring rain and supply all its consumers in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon with adequate and quality fish supply. # # # (Mark Angelo N. Perez / DA-PFDA, Public Information Division)