Filipino livestock and hog raisers, and meat processors can now export ‘Pinoy’ livestock and pork products to the rest of the world, as the entire Philippines was recently certified free from the dreaded foot and mouth disease (FMD) without vaccination by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or World Organization for Animal Health.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the OIE certification declaring the country’s remaining regions and provinces —collectively referred to as Zone 2—enables the Philippines to finally export, livestock and meat products, mainly pork, particularly to nearby ASEAN and Asia-Pacific regions,. As the country is likewise free from avian flu, the Philippines has been exporting poultry products, mostly to Japan.
He said negotiations are ongoing to export pork products to Singapore and Malaysia. Selected swine farms, abattoirs and meat processing establishments, initially in Mindanao, are being accredited by the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
The OIE certification was received on behalf of the Philippine government and Sec. Alcala by agriculture assistant secretary for livestock Davinio Catbagan on May 26, 2011, in Paris, France, during the 79th general session of the OIE held on May 22-27, 2011. The certificate was signed by OIE president Dr. Carlos A. Correa Messuti and director-general Bernard Vallat.
Catbagan said the country’s FMD-free status also augurs well for the domestic livestock industry, as livestock and swine raisers and meat processors can now freely transport and trade live animals as well as livestock and pork products within the country.
He said the free movement and transport will enhance productivity, particularly in improving, upgrading and increasing current livestock herd and swine population.
Zone 2 covers four regions (1, 3, 4-A, and NCR), particularly 12 provinces and 17 cities and towns in Metro Manila or NCR. The 12 provinces are Pangasinan (Region 1); Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, and Bataan (Region 3); and Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (Region 4-A).
The other four zones of the country earlier declared and recognized by OIE as FMD-free without vaccination, were the following: Zones 1 and 3 on May 25, 2010; Visayas, Palawan and Masbate Zone in 2002; and Mindanao in 2001.
The four zones are: Zone 1 (North Luzon) – Cordillera Administrative Region – Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mt. Province; Region 1 – Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union; Region 2 – Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino; and Region 3 – Aurora; Zone 3 (South Luzon) – Region 4-B – Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro and Romblon; Region 5 – Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Sorsogon; Visayas Zone (all provinces in regions 6, 7, & 8), including Palawan and Masbate; and Mindanao Zone (all 6 regions and 29 provinces and islands). [DA Information Service]