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US eases rules on Phl mango exports

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The United States is relaxing importation rules for fresh Philippine mangoes starting this month after its agriculture department declared the Philippines — with the exemption of Palawan — free from pests infesting mango trees.

Philippine agriculture attaché to Washington Josyline Javelosa said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruled that mango plantations in Palawan continue to suffer from pulp and seed weevil infestation. 

Javelosa said mango growers in Palawan may export produce to the US mainland only after the fruits have undergone irradiation treatment.

 The relaxation of import rules opens up opportunities for mango-producing provinces like Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Isabela, Batangas and Tarlac in Luzon; Cebu and Iloilo in the Visayas; and  Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato and Davao del Sur in Mindanao.

Javelosa said mangoes grown in areas free from both pulp and seed weevil are now allowed for export to anywhere in the US and its territories after undergoing vapor-heat treatment or irradiation at 150gy, pre-clearance procedures and other phytosanitary requirements.

She said the USDA has established a lower irradiation dose as a treatment for mango pulp weevil at 165 gray units (gy) from the generic dose of 300gy.

“Mango growers in Palawan will benefit from this ruling as it offers them a less costly treatment compared to irradiation at the higher dose,” said Javelosa.

Before this ruling, only mangoes grown in Guimaras Island in the Visayas can be exported to the US mainland. Mangoes grown from other parts of the Philippines suspected to have weevils, except Palawan, can be exported only to Guam and Hawaii. 

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia  Jr. welcomed the USDA announcement, saying the ruling can help pave the way for more mango exports from the Philippines.  

“The decision to expand the list of allowable mango-producing areas to export to the US to almost the entire Philippines can be expected to result in more investments in the sector and at the same time encourage new entrants to allow domestic production to fully satisfy demand,” he said.

He said the market access to the US could also attract other countries into sourcing mangoes from the Philippines.

Philippine mango is known worldwide for its superior taste, allowing exporters to command a premium price. 

 Most of Philippine mangoes produced for export are shipped to Japan and South Korea.

The rest of the country’s fresh mango produce are exported to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, New Zealand, the Middle East and Canada.

BATANGAS AND TARLAC

CEBU AND ILOILO

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

GUAM AND HAWAII

GUIMARAS ISLAND

HONG KONG

JAVELOSA

MANGO

PALAWAN

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