^

Freeman Cebu Business

Export sector to set up a fumigation facility

- Ehda Dagooc -
After the Australian government, through the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) de-listed Cebu as one of the "hot" ports to have Giant African Snail (GAS) origins, concerned sectors led by Philexport will immediately set up a P5 million to P10 million fumigation facility in Cebu.

PhilExport-Cebu executive director Federico T. Escalona said following the news in de-listing Cebu, the export sector has to "shape-up" and hasten the establishment of the fumigation facility, so that no similar incident will happen in the future that will again hamper the shipment of exports to other countries, like Australia.

In a separate interview with Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Tony Hely, he said that the Philippines including Cebu have already been cleared by the AQIS regarding the GAS issue.

The GAS issue had been affecting the Cebu export industry for about two years as the Australian government imposed stricter requirements for Cebu originated products exported to Australia.

Aside from investing into fumigation facility, PhilExport is also moving up to install a wood treatment facility for all export bound wood-based products, such as furniture to avoid similar issues to happen in the future, said Escalona.

The GAS Task Force Control, which was created to help solve the problem, and is composed of multi-sectoral organizations led by the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines, (SIAP) Philexport-Cebu, will have to drum up support from government and private sector to achieve a pest-free port in Cebu.

The Task Force will have to raise money for the installation of the project for a projected cost of P5 million to P10 million, excluding the fumigation technology that will cost them about US$200,000.

"We want to prove Australian that our products are exported in their country free of pest. And lets go beyond Australia, and make all our export products bound for different other countries clean," SIAP public relations director Pete Borja said earlier in the Task Force plan to pursue the fumigation plant installation in Cebu.

This pest, GAS (Achatina fulica) is regularly found in or on containers entering to Australia, which causes internal and external contamination.

The creation of fumigation area, to make Cebu export products free of any pest contamination, will be the first private-sector led fumigation facility in the country.

From 1999 to the third quarter of last year, average export to Australia from the Philippines, including seaweed products, furniture, among others reached to US$90 million.

The GAS Task Force control is composed of SIAP, Philexport, Cebu Furniture Industry Foundation Inc. (CFIF), Association of International Shipping Lines, Cebu Truckers Inc., Cebu Port Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Cebu City Agriculture Department, Bureau of Customs, BPI, among others.

While the long term plan of the Task Force is to make Cebu to have a "pest-free" port, installing the necessary facilities to clean up all export bound products at the port, Escalona said the meantime, the group will have to fast track the "band-aid" solution which is to set up the fumigation facility.

AFTER THE AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING LINES AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR AUSTRALIAN QUARANTINE AND INSPECTION SERVICE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CEBU CEBU CITY AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT ESCALONA FUMIGATION TASK FORCE
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with