Plan to export Philippine pork to Singapore revived

Posted on September 05, 2016

THE government is reviving a long-stalled bid to export pork to Singapore, according to Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol.

The pork exports initially would come from Mindanao with the Agriculture chief meeting with an association of livestock growers in the Soccsksargen region (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City).

“We met with the livestock growers of Mindanao about two weeks ago, August 15. They would like to revive the plan to export pork to Singapore,” Mr. Piñol said in an interview with reporters last Aug. 30.

Singapore, he pointed out, “is dependent on foreign markets, they barely produce their own food” which makes it a viable market destination notwithstanding the country’s thin population.

The Philippines first tried to ship frozen pork to Singapore in 2008, with volume at some 50,000 tons, but an outbreak of the Ebola Reston virus prompted the government to halt the inaugural shipment. It quarantined three swine farms at that time.

A major grower for yellow corn which is used as animal feeds, Mindanao has been perceived as a potential hub for breeder farms and meat abattoirs that would make the island an ideal source of exports for pork and other processed meat products.

The Philippines is one of the 24 countries approved to export pork to Singapore, according to the city state’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on its list dated Aug. 8 uploaded on its Web site. Of the total, some countries can ship raw pork only from AVA-accredited meat establishments which include the Philippines.

Likewise, Mr. Piñol is looking into continuing previous efforts for the country to ship chilled pork to Japan, an arrangement under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement.

At present, the Philippines exports Peking duck and yakitori nuggets to Japan under the said deal.

Parallel to broadening viable foreign markets for its pork exports, the Philippines will have to intensify production.

“We will have to produce more meat because meat consumption has increased from 15 kilos per capita per annum to 35 kilos per capita per annum. So we will have to really support the livestock industry,” Mr. Pinol added. -- J.C. Lim