Tuna capital’s fish port market to be on 4-day lockdown after COVID-19 infections

ALL THREE market halls of the fish port complex in General Santos City, the tuna capital of the country, will be closed for at least four days starting September 2 to give way to disinfection and contact tracing activities after coronavirus cases were traced in the area. In a statement on Sunday, the city government said the temporary market closure may be extended “if needed.” The city government said the lockdown decision was made in coordination with the local task force in charge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), and the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing & Allied Industries, Inc. “A special Barangay COVID Control Force will be created to monitor the area, and new rules will be formulated for people entering the Fish Port once it is reopened,” it said. The 32-hectare General Santos Fishport Complex is considered as the most modern fishport facility in the country. Apart from the market area, it also has cold storage and blast freezing facilities. Several barangays in the city are also under lockdown while contact tracing is ongoing for confirmed COVID-19 patients from these communities. As of August 30, the city had 76 confirmed cases, up by about 38% from a week ago. Of the total, 36 are active and no deaths.

‘Triple A’ slaughterhouse in Tanauan City opens in November

THE FIRST government-owned slaughterhouse in Tanauan City, Batangas with a triple A classification will start operations in November 2020, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said. “The Tanauan ‘AAA’ slaughterhouse will help propel the modernization of the livestock industry in Batangas, and subsequently provide a sustained livelihood, source of income, and affordable, safe, and hygienic meat products to constituents and neighboring communities, including Metro Manila,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said during a recent inspection of the site. An ‘AAA’ category means the facility has equipment and operational procedures that meet international standards, and its output may be sold in both the local and international markets. The Tanauan abattoir, built at a cost of P187.2 million, has a capacity to process 500 hog heads per eight-hour shift. The facility will be managed by the Unified Batangas Swine Producers Association. Meanwhile, Mr. Dar also committed to expand the ‘AAA’ facility in Tanauan by integrating a poultry cutting plant with an additional P50 million budget from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). Another P50 million has also been earmarked for the establishment of a separate cold storage and cutting facility for poultry stakeholders in the town of San Jose, also in Batangas. “With these poultry dressing and cutting facilities, we will be a step closer to producing mechanically-deboned meat (MDM), and thus reduce imports. At the same time, it would allow for a value-added enterprise for the benefit of poultry farmers in Batangas and neighboring provinces,” Mr. Dar said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave