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Livestock Stakeholders Craft Road Map October 28, 2012, 5:48pm DAVAO CITY (PNA) – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Prospero Alcala has instructed his officers to work with the Mindanao livestock industry, and include value chain in the road map crafted by industry players in the region. Manuel R. Jarmin, executive director of the Livestock Development Council, made this statement during the culmination on Saturday of the Mindanao Livestock, Poultry, and Aquaculture Congress held at the SMX Davao, which is a back-to-back activity of the Davao Trade Expo. According to Jarmin, Alcala told them to make value chain as integral part of the road map. “Step it up further and use value chain as the centerpiece of that road map,” added Jarmin quoting the agriculture secretary. Jarmin said that by doing so, “we can integrate for instance livestock and poultry with corn program for feed production because if we don't, one sector would suffer.” For his part, DA Assistant Secretary Davino Catbagan said production should start from value chain and ends with it as well. He said this is the missing link in hog production as it must also follow proper management as part of the value chain. But he said that this is a team effort from the industry, local government unit (LGU), and the national agency.

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/379066/livestock-stakeholders-craft-roadmap#.UI3zFWcTgol


Govt asked to reject WHO plan to reduce tobacco output Category: Agri-Commodities Published on Sunday, 28 October 2012 19:06 Written by Max V. de Leon / Reporter LOCAL tobacco growers have asked the government to reject a World Health Organization (WHO) proposed agenda that threatens to displace close to a million tobacco farmers in the country. The Philippine Tobacco Growers’ Association (PTGA) said in a statement that some of the current wordings of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) have gone astray from the FCTC’s original intent. The group said the original intent of the FCTC’s Article 17 was to provide “technical and financial assistance to aid the economic transition of tobacco growers and workers as a decline in tobacco production consumption resulted in lower demand for our crop.” “However, the proposals under consideration currently represent a departure from this original goal as they seek to artificially reduce the supply of tobacco without providing growers any viable alternatives to support their families. This is despite estimates that demand for tobacco will increase in coming years,” the PTGA said. Local tobacco growers joined their counterparts worldwide in asking government leaders to reject the WHO proposals. The International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA) used the October 29 celebration of the first-ever World Tobacco Growers’ Day in intensifying lobbying against the FCTC. The group said the FCTC threatens the livelihood of more than 30 million tobacco farmers and farmworkers. “As we celebrate the benefit our farms bring to our communities, we are also asking our leaders to stand with us, to hear our voices and give us the opportunity to work together to protect our way of life,” said Asuncion Lopez, spokesman for PTGA. “Should these draconian measures become law, they’ll have a dire impact on the livelihoods of 840,416 Filipino tobacco growers and dependents and the contribution we give to the local economy,” he said. FCTC’s Articles 17 and 18 ban minimum support prices and leaf auctions; restrict production by regulating the seasons when tobacco can be grown; reduce the area allocated for tobacco farming; ban technical support for tobacco farmers; and dismantle all bodies connecting growers with governments.


These proposals will be discussed and voted on at the Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP5) in Seoul, Korea on November 12 to 17, 2012. All 175 countries who signed the FCTC are eligible to attend the conference and vote. “The FCTC has not heard the voice of growers and has gone off track in pursuing absurd proposals that are contrary to its original mandate,” said Saturnino Distor, president of the PTGA. “Today we simply ask to be heard and to become part of the solution.” “Tobacco growers of the world will not stand idly by and watch as their fates are sealed,” said Distor. “Our government leaders must understand that these issues will have consequences not only for us but for the communities we live in.”

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/business/agri-commodities/1227-govtasked-to-reject-who-plan-to-reduce-tobacco-output


Induced spawning for pangasius seen to boost Cagayan production Category: Agri-Commodities Published on Sunday, 28 October 2012 19:05 Written by Rosenda B. Alluad / Correspondent TUGUEGARAO CITY—Want a mass production of pangasius? Try induced spawning. This was the come-on of fishery officials in Cagayan Valley as they claimed that they have uncovered the key for the successful mass production of the fish species in the region. At least 20,000 fingerlings have been reared in the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources fish farm in San Mateo, Isabela for distribution to various recipients and projects of the agency while 40,000 “pieces” of fry are currently being reared to fingerling size. Dominador Abalos, pangasius project leader, said that their previous runs two years ago on induced spawning were beset with problems such as the low survival of hatchlings up to the fifth day. Abalos attributed the low survival to bacterial attack and cannibalism on the third day. Abalos said they have remedied this by using a pro-biotic to counteract bacteria at that critical stage and by using ample amount of artemia and moina as feeds. From a survival rate of less than 1 percent, Abalos said that they have managed to increase the rate to 20 percent. Fry after passing day 5 usually do not have many problems, Abalos said. Induced spawning entails injecting matured breeders (usually three years old) with hormone, stripping and fertilization. They are then placed in incubation trays. Hatching occurs in 24-32 hours depending on water temperature. The ideal water temperature for the eggs to hatch is between 26 to 32 degrees centigrade. The raisers have also tried to veer towards organic production in response to the current trend on organic products. Feeds of breeders, fry and fingerlings during this production run were produced organically, Abalos said. Pangasius, dubbed as “the new darling of the aquaculture industry” is a fast-growing and hardy fish native to the Mekong River in Thailand and Vietnam. Pangasius is an air-breathing fish (bimodal respiration) which enables it to tolerate low-dissolved oxygen levels. Under semi-intensive fishpond culture, the fish can reach more than one kilogram harvest weight within a six- month culture period. Feed conversion ratio using commercial feeds is 1:1.2. “Pangasius can potentially offer higher profitability compared to other cultured species due to its fast growth and high survival rate, high feed conversion efficiency and good market price,” according to regional fishery director Jovita Ayson.

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/business/agri-commodities/1226-inducedspawning-for-pangasius-seen-to-boost-cagayan-production


Department of Agriculture works on increasing cocoa production By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) Updated October 29, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments MANILA, Philippines - Acknowledging that consumption of coffee nowadays is no longer restricted to traditional brewing, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is working on increasing cocoa production along with coffee. Players in the coffee industry have stressed that local demand for coffee can be increased by introducing specialty blends and encouraging local coffee shops to experiment with new mixes and flavors. Earlier, non-government organization Philippine Coffee Board (PCB ) said local demand for coffee is expected to increase by five percent annually because of increased consumption of instant coffee, which has now become a staple in offices. The coffee industry, led by the PCB is currently creating a roadmap for increasing production with the goal of sufficiently supplying local demand and enabling the country to once again become a coffee exporter in 10 to 15 years. As part of the coffee roadmap, the DA is partnering with Nestle Philippines in putting up a mother plant garden in Cagayan Valley to produce 200,000 robusta coffee seedlings per year. Cocoa, which is made into chocolate and a mixes for coffee drinks, is also getting additional support from the government through the establishment of Cacao Agribusiness Zones. The DA is allocating P192 million for the implementation of the Cacao Agribusiness Zones Development (CAZD). Under CAZD, five agribusiness zones for cacao production would be established in Davao City, Compostela Valley, Zamboanga del Norte, Palawan, and Camarines Sur. The CADZ program is a partnership between DA and the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines (Cocoaphil). The agribusiness zones will house central fermentation and drying facilities, quality assurance equipment, central nursery and budwood garden, warehouse, and office space. Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) assistant director Teodoro S. Solsoloy said the growing consumption of cacao and coffee is encouraging the local industry to increase production.


The Philippines imports between 75,000 metric tons (MT) and 100,000 MT of coffee from Vietnam and Indonesia annually at a cost of between P7 and P10 billion. Cocoa bean imports, on the other hand, is placed at 20,000 MT annually, costing at an average of $42 million annually. Beans are usually imported from African cocoa producers in Nigeria and Ivory Coast. http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=864455&publicationSubCategoryId=66


Interest rates continue to drop By Prinz P. Magtulis (The Philippine Star) Updated October 29, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments MANILA, Philippines - Interest rates have continued to drop for the past 10 months as banks reflected cuts made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which has remained comfortable of asset prices despite easing anew last Thursday. Lenders have slashed interest rates by an average of 60 basis points, equivalent to 80 percent of the 75 basis-point cuts conducted earlier in the year, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said on Thursday. “The pass-through for the 75 basis-point cut from the beginning of the year up to mid-October is about 80 percent. So 80 percent of 75 basis points, we have seen this has been passed through in terms of lower bank rates,” Guinigundo told reporters. BSP data showed average bank lending rate at 5.50 percent in August, lower than the 5.91 percent recorded in January and 6.21 percent as of end-2011. This was after BSP trimmed policy rates by 25 basis points each on January, March and July. Policy rates serve as benchmark for interest rates in bank loans.Lower rates are meant to encourage bank lending, which in turn is expected to boost consumption and investment and contribute to economic growth. Interest rates are expected to lower further as the full effect of 75-basis-point cut is yet to be reflected and after BSP slashed rates by another 25 basis points last Thursday. “That (lower rates) would provide additional support to economic growth especially as the global economy remains soft and broadly uncertain,” Guinigundo explained. “(This) provides incentive to people to borrow from banks, invest and create economic activity,” the deputy governor said. “(It also) provides additional insurance the possible spillover effects coming from the Europe and the US.” Guinigundo shrugged off concerns that BSP’s easing may prompt banks to lend beyond their capacity, thus creating bad loans. He also stressed that there is “no strong evidence of stretched valuation in the asset market” as of now. BSP has been keeping a tight watch on asset prices to avoid asset bubble formation, or a situation when asset rates shot up beyond real market prices as a result of huge demand. Lower borrowing rates are expected to buoy such demand. “From the perspective of the PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange), we do not see any misalignment from this point,” Guinigundo said. “On the real estate market, again, based on the reports that we get, looking at rentals, capital values, residential versus commercial, we are in no way near what we have seen during the Asian financial crisis,” he explained.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=864441&publicationSubCategoryId=66


Department of Agriculture holds contest for branding, packaging of Phl rice exports By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) Updated October 29, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (1) View comments MANILA, Philippines - As the government prepares for the exportation of premium rice varieties, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is holding a contest for the branding and packaging of aromatic and upland rice varieties. Winning works will be the official brand and package of Philippine rice exports. Contestants who are at least 18 years old should come up with a brand name and design that uses a Filipino word and depicts local scenery directly related to rice production and farming activities. Two designs are required: one for a one kilogram package with a size of 20 centimeters by 25 centimeters; and another for a five kilogram package with a size of 29 centimeters by 50 centimeters. The contest is divided into two categories: manual design and computer-aided designs. Entries for manual design should be rendered on a one fourth size illustration board using any colored media. Entries for computer designs should be printed in color and pasted on a one fourth sized illustration board, and accompanied by an electronic copy of the artwork in PNG format saved in a compact disc. Participants may submit three entries per category. An information sheet indicating the contestant’s name, address, age, contact numbers, email, and signature should come with the entry. The top entry would receive the following prizes: P25,000 cash, a trophy and certificate; second prize would get P15,000; third prize, P10,000; while the other finalists would get P2,000 each. The entries should be submitted on or before November 7, 2012, to the nearest DARegional Field Unit, through the DA regional executive director or the regional rice coordinator. In ARMM, entries may be sent to the Office of the Secretary for Agriculture and Food.


For more information, the DA national rice program may be reached at telephone number 9252152 or through its email address ricematters2@yahoo.com. The national rice program of the DA is currently identifying traditional rice varieties such as colored rice (black, red, pink, brown and purple), aromatic white rice and long grain white rice that will be developed for exportation. http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=864460&publicationSubCategoryId=66


Dried marine products seized by BOC Published : Monday, October 29, 2012 00:00 Article Views : 27 Written by : Vic Reyes

SOME Php10 million worth of various dried marine products declared as endangered species by the government -- like the mantaray and stingray, which arrived at the sub-port of Manila North Harbor on board MV Princess of the South on August 12, 2012 -- were seized by Bureau of Customs officials after they were found out to have been shipped from Cebu without the required transport clearance from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in violation of Fisheries Administrative Order No. 193 and Republic Act 3550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. In the media presentation of the seized marine products, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said the 2,300 kilos of illegal dried marine products were consigned to Golden East Marine Export, Inc. of Las Piñas City and may have been intended for export. “This seems to be an attempt to smuggle out of the country highly valuable marine products which are considered endangered species by the government,” Biazon said, adding that, “These poaching should be stopped and poachers must be jailed. These people are responsible for depleting the country’s already dwindling natural resources.” Biazon further explained that, while the BOC has tightened its watch of incoming cargo movements to thwart smuggling, the bureau is also on the lookout for exporters who totally disregard the laws of the land protecting the country’s endangered species for huge and quick profits. “We shall apply the maximum penalties provided by law to all those involved in this smuggling attempt,” Biazon vowed. In the export market, current prices of dried gills and meat of mantaray and stingray per kilogram could fetch up to US$500. Dried parts of other stingrays can cost US$8/kg. These are highly sought products, especially in the Chinese market, because it is said to cure chicken pox, infertility and cancer. Two weeks after the arrival of the 10-footer container van from Cebu, a joint BFAR and BOC team conducted an inspection of the van on September 11. During the inspection, the dried cut and sliced portions of mantarays and stingrays were discovered. Samples of the dried marine products were subsequently taken to the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) for testing and identification.

http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/national/40514-dried-marine-productsseized-by-boc


300 kilos of botcha seized in Malolos Published : Monday, October 29, 2012 00:00 Article Views : 27 Written by : Manny Balbin

MALOLOS City -- Some 300 kilos of suspected tainted meat were confiscated while four persons were arrested by a police and city market meat inspection team here last Saturday. Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr. said the raid happened at about 1:30 a.m. after the suspects failed to present permit from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). Mendez identified the suspects as Rowena Duhig, 36, businesswoman; Renato Duhig, 40, married; Genesis Duhig, 24, helper; and Irvin Obera, 18, helper, all of Bgy. Pulong Gubat, Balagtas, Bulacan. Supt. David Poklay, city police chief, said that city market marshall Edilberto Sanchez and meat inspector Reynaldo Lazaro, together with a police team, were able to seize 300 kilograms of frozen meat products (pork and chicken) worth some Php30,000 without permit from a stall at the city market. The stall owners were about to sell the meat products when their team conducted the raid. Charges will be filed against the suspects.

http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/provincial/40505-300-kilos-of-botcha-seizedin-malolos


Livestock Stakeholders Craft Road Map October 28, 2012, 5:48pm DAVAO CITY (PNA) – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Prospero Alcala has instructed his officers to work with the Mindanao livestock industry, and include value chain in the road map crafted by industry players in the region. Manuel R. Jarmin, executive director of the Livestock Development Council, made this statement during the culmination on Saturday of the Mindanao Livestock, Poultry, and Aquaculture Congress held at the SMX Davao, which is a back-to-back activity of the Davao Trade Expo. According to Jarmin, Alcala told them to make value chain as integral part of the road map. “Step it up further and use value chain as the centerpiece of that road map,” added Jarmin quoting the agriculture secretary. Jarmin said that by doing so, “we can integrate for instance livestock and poultry with corn program for feed production because if we don't, one sector would suffer.” For his part, DA Assistant Secretary Davino Catbagan said production should start from value chain and ends with it as well. He said this is the missing link in hog production as it must also follow proper management as part of the value chain. But he said that this is a team effort from the industry, local government unit (LGU), and the national agency.

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/379066/livestock-stakeholders-craft-roadmap#.UI348mcTgok


Luzon Newsbits

AGRI PROJECTS October 28, 2012, 5:46pm AGRI PROJECTS LUCENA CITY, Quezon — Coconut and fish farmers received from the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) seedlings and technical trainings, as part of the agricultural program of Quezon Governor David. C. Suarez, during rites held in various towns over the weekend. Provincial Agriculturist Roberto Gajo said that for the coconut farmers, some 5,000 coconut seedlings were distributed to 120 farmers of Unisan, Catanauan, San Narciso and Gumaca towns after a series of lecture and trainings conducted by the PAO in relation to coconut planting and replanting program. For fish farmers of Atimonan, Tayabas City, San Antonio, San Narciso, Real, Gen. Nakar towns, they were trained on community-based tilapia hatchery for fingerling production, fishpond lay-out and design, selection of brood stock, pond preparation, among others. (Danny Estacio) http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/379065/agri-projects#.UI35IWcTgok


DTI Bucks Milk Code Revision By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT October 28, 2012, 3:02pm The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has objected to legislative measures seeking a total ban on advertising for breastmilk substitutes stressing this would infringe the right of consumers to information and freedom of choice and a restraint to business growth. “We believe that such prohibition may result in infringement of the fundamental rights of consumers, particularly lactating mothers, to information and freedom of choice,” said DTI undersecretary Zenaida C. Malaya. The DTI was reacting to four bills filed in Congress seeking to further strengthen breastfeeding and amend the existing Milk Code. Among others, these bills seek to prohibit the advertising, promotion, marketing and sponsorship of “designated products (HB 3396) or breastmilk substitutes; infant formula and complimentary foods (HBs 3525, 3527 and 3537); intended for infants 0 to 6 months (HBs 3525 and 3527); and 0 to 12 months (HB 3537) or young children up to three years of age (HB 3396). “Clearly, the declared policy of the Consumer Act to provide information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of right by the consumer may remain in vain,” the DTI paper said. The DTI even quoted a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 51 or the Milk Code, wherein the high court declared the same prohibition null and void being a contravention of the law. “The court pointed out that the national policy of protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding cannot automatically be equated with a total ban on advertising for breastmilk substitutes,” the DTI said. On proposal to further widen the coverage of the ban on advertising of milk for young children from 0-36 months or even 0-24 months, the DTI said this goes beyond the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and National Milk Code of 1986, which requires that the prohibition applies only to infants 06 months old. “The aim of the WHO Code is to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants by the promotion of breastfeeding and ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes, when these are necessary, accompanied by adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution,” the DTI said.


Further, Maglaya said that the DTI mandate to protect the rights of consumers must be “balanced with a friendly business environment conducive to the growth of business.” The DTI said that the benefits derived from the performance of the infant formula industry in terms of government revenues and employment opportunities cannot be overemphasized. “We believe that the policies of the state must be liberalized to give industry players, local or foreign, the right to promote their products within the scope of the law. Otherwise, restrictions may impact the infant formula sub-sector which employs a substantial number of Filipino employers,” the DTI added. The DTI, however, favored the proposal to create an Inter-Agency Committee to come up with substantive and procedural guidelines to screen and review all advertising, promotion and other marketing materials for products within the scope of the Act. The DTI said that as long as the advertisement is truthful, factual or scientific, there is no need to prohibit/ban the advertising of a product.

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/379035/dti-bucks-milk-code-revision#.UI35j2cTgok


Palace tells Corona: Focus on tax raps not Noy’s farms • •

Written by Tribune Monday, 29 October 2012 00:00

HACIENDA LUISITA DISTRIBUTION ON TRACK — VALTE

Focus on the tax evasion charges and leave

the Hacienda Luisita land distribution problem to the government, the Palace told former Chief Justice Renato Corona in reply to Corona’s insistence that he is being persecuted by Malacañang through the tax fraud cases filed against him and members of his family now pending before the Department of Justice (DoJ). Before prosecutors during his appearance at the DoJ last Thursday to answer the tax evasion charges, Corona said the cases raised against him and his family are “baseless” and “politically motivated.” “This is an offshoot of the impeachment trial that ended just a few months ago in a highly political decision of the Senate,” he said in connection with the P120-million tax evasion charge filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte dismissed Corona’s allegations that the distribution of Hacienda Luisita, owned by the family of President Aquino, is being delayed despite a Supreme Court order to start the parceling out of the property. Corona questioned the failure of the government to distribute the lands despite the high court issuing a final decision when he was still chief justice. “It would be better if he answer first the tax evasion raps against him,” Valte advised Corona.


“Six months after the decision of the Corona court had become final in connection with the Hacienda Luisita, I am wondering why until now the lands are not yet distributed to the pitiful farmers, not even a single piece,” Corona said. At the height of his impeachment trial, Corona insisted that Aquino was behind the moves to oust him as an offshoot of the tribunal’s decision on the immediate distribution to farmers of the vast Hacienda Luisita property in Tarlac. Valte insisted the government is already working on the distribution of the Hacienda Luisita, adding that the Department of Agrarian Reform is giving updates to Aquino,” Valte said. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) insisted that it has started conducting inventory to fast-track the distribution of the Hacienda Luisita to legitimate farmer beneficiaries, a Palace official said on Thursday. Aquino has vowed to distribute to legitimate farmer beneficiaries all lands covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) during his administration. The Chief Executive remains committed to complete the objectives of the CARPer and attain genuine agricultural development in the country, according to Valte. Last June, Aquino met with the farmers’ groups and Church officials to reaffirm his commitment to land reform programs. He also reiterated his vigorous support for the development of our countryside. During the meeting with the farmers, Church officials and other stakeholders last June, President Aquino approved the setting up of a multi-stakeholders mechanism to complete the objectives of the CARPer before it expires in 2014. The multi-stakeholders mechanism that is composed of representatives from the DAR and other CARP-implementing agencies of the government, the church, non-government organizations, peoples’ organizations, and other farmers’ groups and federations, monitors the implementation of the CARP. “I know I am on the right side because everywhere we go there are countless people who approach us and express support and prayers for us. I am thankful to all of them,” he stressed. Corona filed a 27-page counter-affidavit before the investigating panel of prosecutors denying allegations of the BIR that he violated National Internal Revenue Code by not filing income tax returns for 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Corona’s daughter Carla and her husband Constantino Castillo had already submitted their respective answers to a separate P30-million tax evasion charges filed against them by BIR in hearing last Oct. 15. Defense counsel Anacleto Diaz, requested for confidentiality of their pleadings from the DoJ panel chaired by Senior State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag, saying Corona is now a private citizen whose reputation should be protected through privacy. The DoJ panel granted the request and then set the next hearing on Nov. 16 for submission by BIR lawyers of their reply to Corona’s answer. Corona was accompanied by his wife Cristina. The Senate impeachment court found Corona guilty of betrayal of public trust after he admitted not indicating in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALn) his dollar deposits, citing the confidentiality clause under the Foreign Currency Deposit Act. On Aug. 30, the BIR filed a tax evasion case at the DoJ against Corona after he failed to


declare P150.68 million in his SALn. After examining Corona’s bank records and comparing it with his networth, Henares said they discovered a substantial disparity between the acquisition cost of the properties declared in his SALns and the cost declared in the certificates authorizing registrations, using the “expenditure method,” the BIR said Corona’s deficiency income tax liability amounted to P120.5 million for the nine-year period.

http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/6246-palace-tells-corona-focus-ontax-raps-not-noy%E2%80%99s-farms


Court to NFA: Don’t withhold docus on P20-M Vietnam rice • •

Written by Arlie O. Calalo Monday, 29 October 2012 00:00

The National Food Authority (NFA) has been ordered by a Quezon City trial court judge to withhold documents on the importation of P20 million worth of rice from Vietnam to several farmers’ groups.

In an order, a copy of which was obtained by the Quezon City Press Club, Judge Alexander Balut, of QC Regional Trial Court Branch 76, enjoined the NFA “from not releasing the memorandum of undertaking and such other documents and papers that are needed to process and facilitate the release of the cargoes for each plaintiff.”

He said the farmers’ cooperatives must have the access to see all documents and not to prevent the processing of the documents needed for the release of 1,075 metric tons or 21,500 sacks of rice that are kept in the custody of Port of Sasa, Davao City since July 20. The Kabalikat Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Bubog Farmers Cooperative, Pinaod Central Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Samahang Bagong Anyo filed a complaint against the NFA, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and specifically NFA’s special bids and awards committee chairman Jose Cordero for allegedly withholding documents containing information on the importation of 21,500 sacks of rice.

They said they stand to lose $479,937.50 or P20, 637,312.50 as cost of the cargoes withheld at the Port of Davao City.

They alleged NFA refused to execute the papers because of Instruction No. 23.5 of the Instruction to Bidders that required the shipping documents for the rice imports be submitted on July 15, at least five days before the expected arrival of the cargos.

Due to changes in terms of the importation agreement made by the Vietnamese supplier, the cooperatives said they were only able to submit the documents on Aug. 8, prompting NFA to enforce its bidding rules and impose penalties on the complainants.

http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/6230-court-to-nfadon%E2%80%99t-withhold-docus-on-p20-m-vietnam-rice


Dangerous Korean noodles sold in Makati and QC By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Posted on Oct. 29, 2012 at 12:01am | 530 views

Korean noodles recalled by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) for containing cancer-causing substance were still on display in Korean shops in Makati and Quezon City, an anti-toxic watchdog group said on Sunday. Aileen Lucero of EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect said the banned Korean noodles contained substance called benzopyrene, which they discovered after making tests on the products last October 27. “In the interest of consumer health and safety, Filipinos who are fond of Korean ramen should refrain from buying it and shop owners should return the remaining stocks to manufacturers at once,” Lucero said. The watchdog group identified the banned noodles as Mild Neoguri, Spicy Neoguri, Neoguri Cup Noodles (small), Saewootang Cup Noodles (large), and Seng Seng Udong. They purchased the noodles for test purposes as part of the National Food Safety Awareness Week in the last week of October, and the Consumer Protection Month this October. “We request our local Food and Drug Administration to look into this food safety issue and take appropriate action,” Lucero said. Last Thursday, the KFDA recalled nine types of instant noodles, including six products manufactured by Nongshim, after detecting concentrations of benzopyrene in its powdered seasoning. Among those ordered withdrawn from the market were Nongshim’s Mild Neoguri, Spicy Neoguri, Neoguri Cud Noodles (large and small), Saewootang Cup Noodles (large) and Sen Seng udong. The KFDA, which tested 30 samples of Korean-made instant noodles, found benzopyrene ranging from 1.2 to 4.7 parts per billion in 20 items, the watchdog group said. They said health authorities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan ordered the removal of the items from store shelves soon after the KFDA announcement. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxicity and Exposure Assessment for Children’s Health described benzopyrene as “a by-product of incomplete combustion or burning


of organic items such as cigarettes, gasoline, and wood and is commonly found in cigarette smoke, in grilled and broiled food, and as by-product of many industrial processes.”

http://manilastandardtoday.com/2012/10/29/dangerous‐korean‐noodles‐sold‐in‐makati‐and‐ qc/ 


2012 10 29 - QUEDANCOR Daily News Monitor