The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Davao has temporarily banned the importation of pork and pork-based products from African Swine Fever (ASF) affected areas and countries.
Norman de Asis of the Public Information and Assistance Division of BOC-Davao told Edge Davao they have partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to prevent the outbreak of ASF in the city.
De Asis said they implemented measures in relation to the prevention of the entry of pork and pork-based products from entering the city such as strengthening customs protocol especially imports from ASF-affected countries, physical examinations of imports with the representatives from DA-BAI, and adhering to memoranda issued by the Commissioner of BOC regarding the actions of the bureau to imports from ASF-affected countries.
The BOC action came after a local group of hog raisers asked for the involvement of all government agencies such as the Bureau of Customs to prevent these pork meats from entering Davao.
Eduardo So, president of the Hog Farmers Association of Davao Inc (HOGFADI) earlier provided recommendations such as conducting thorough inspections in the city’s seaports and airports to prevent the entry of pork meats from Luzon and ASF infected countries to the ASF – Task Force (ASF-TF) from entering the city.
For its part, the city government formed the ASF-TF through Executive Order No. 37 signed by Acting Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte which seeks to protect the city from the swine flu fever, a severe viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs.
Apart from preventing ASF outbreak in the city, the BOC Port of Davao has also kept watch of the borders of Davao from illegal trades and customs fraud.
Recently, the customs installed a new cargo x-ray machine at the Davao International Airport (DIA) Cargo Unit. The machine will be fully operational within the year.
The new x-ray machine will enable BOC Davao to inspect a larger and heavier cargo up to 200 kilos in weight boosted by a 6-color imaging feature that will aide operators to identify with better clarity the contents of a baggage.
BOC-Davao District Collector Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said this shows BOC-Davao’s commitment in protecting the air and sea ports from smuggling.
According to Austria, BOC is prepared to cater the anticipated increase in trade activity in Davao.
The new x-ray machine, which brought BOC-Davao’s inventory to five units, will also increase the border security capabilities of DIA and will not only provide a better service but it will also help in the speedy clearance of our airfreight cargoes.
Austria added that the Port of Davao has already set corresponding trainings for its x-ray operators so that the new equipment can be used efficiently and effectively.
Investing and procuring of more x-ray machines to be utilized by many of our major ports nationwide in order to increase its capabilities is part of the 10 point priority program of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero.