March 5, 2024

The government will further strengthen on-site border control inspections for imported animals, plants, meat, and other farm and fishery products arriving in major international seaports in the country.
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry has started laying the groundwork for the establishment of the first-border inspection (FBI) facilities in the country’s major ports, starting at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
Agriculture Sec. William Dar said the FBI will be conducted on all animals, plants, fisheries, and related agricultural products arriving from other countries.
“The FBI facilities will be one of the major accomplishments of the Duterte administration as biosecurity measures like quarantine checks are needed to protect animal, plant and public health and animal welfare,” Dar said.
The FBI facilities will also be put up at Manila South Harbor, Subic Freeport Zone, Port of Batangas, Cebu International Port, and Port of Davao.
BAI Director Ronnie Domingo said coordination meetings with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), MICP officials, and other five major ports have started since February to identify suitable, available, and strategic locations.
Each facility – to be manned by at least 39 technical personnel – will house an Agriculture Commodity Examination Area (ACEA) and crematorium.
Domingo said the ACEAs have been present in all developed countries as part of their strengthened food safety and quarantine, inspection regulations. These border control facilities will be the first ACEAs to be established in the country.
The ACEA, with its controlled temperature environment, will capacitate the quarantine officers to thoroughly inspect the contents of an identified high-risk containerized agricultural shipment.
Each ACEA will feature a laboratory to enable the immediate testing of samples from commodities suspected to carry animal, fish or plant pests or diseases and other hazardous contents.
A crematorium will also be in place to ensure safe disposal of confirmed agricultural commodities with quarantine violations, if these cannot be returned to origin.
The government has allocated P2 billion for the establishment of the five ACEAs.
To date, the Department of Budget Management has allocated P500 million for the ACEA at MICP.
Dar said this will strengthen the existing FBI procedures in the country, emphasizing the need to prevent the entry of trans-boundary animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, and African swine fever.
The FBI facilities will also reinforce the implementation of food safety and sanitary and phytosanitary measures for plants, fish and fishery products.
“The ACEAs will enable us to perform 100 percent inspection of farm commodities especially those on high risk or ‘Alert Order’ status. This will help us reduce or prevent smuggling of agricultural products, and prevent the entry of major animal, plant and fish diseases that will endanger the country’s agricultural industry,” Dar said. – DA release