THE PHILIPPINES is performing very well in terms of food safety.
This was according to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III who graced the opening of the Livestock Philippines 2015, on June 25, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
During his message, the Chief Executive told the members of the diplomatic corps, foreign exhibitors, national and local government officials, and the media, that the country has been free from avian flu since 2005 and the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) since 2010 making it eligible to export poultry and swine products.
“Just last month, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) accorded the Philippines the highest level of recognition as a country free from FMD without vaccination, further increasing the country’s global competitiveness,” Aquino said.
“The government’s goal is not only to maintain the standards but also to ensure that the livestock industry continues to grow and develop,” he added.
Over the course of Aquino’s term, the budget for livestock industry has increased by 180%, giving priority on vaccination initiatives and disease surveillance among other measures which aim to control if not eradicate animal diseases.
Currently, the government’s initiatives under the livestock industry is primarily focused in ensuring food safety.
For example, the amended Meat Inspection Code imposes stricter fines for food safety violations. The Food Safety Act of 2013, on the other hand, strengthens the food regulatory system in order to protect consumer health.
The Agriculture Department has also monitored the price movement of various livestock and poultry products.
According to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the price of meat and poultry has remained relatively stable for the last five years.
He added that even the change in price for meat and poultry between 2011 and 2014 was comparatively lower at 2.6% per year versus the 3.8% overall inflation rate.
“Not even during the past Christmas season did the country experience surges in the price of ham and chicken,” Alcala said.
“The stable price of meat and poultry was due partly to the effective coordination among industry stakeholders including producers and processors,” he added.
Alcala said that the Livestock Expo 2015 celebrates the milestones and other achievements of the Filipino livestock and poultry industry.
“This exposition showcases the progress that we have made together and reminds us of the huge potential of the industry towards the continuous transformation and growth of Philippine agriculture,” he said.
From 2010 to 2014, livestock and poultry production volume increased by 2.3% annually while the value of the output grew at a rate of 4.8% per year.
In 2014, the value of livestock production grew by 5.6% from previous year’s output to PhP 247.1 billion. Meanwhile, value of poultry output expanded by 7.84% to PhP 189.7 billion at current prices.
Livestock and poultry contribute between 30.6% of total agricultural output. ### Marlo Asis, DA-AFID – Source, www.da.gov.ph