The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Ministry of Agriculture (DA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) for the establishment of a control facility for incoming fresh and frozen agro-fishery products. into the country through the Subic Bay free port area.
SBMA President and Trustee Wilma T. Eisma and Agriculture Secretary William Dar formalized the deal at Subic Bay Freeport on Friday, November 26, 2021, following initial discussions in July.
The proposed Agricultural Cold Examination Facility (Cefa) in Subic – the first of five such facilities to be built nationwide – will cost 509.5 million pesos and facilitate 100% inspection of agri-food shipments arriving here.
“It will also strengthen industrial and commercial activities in Subic and promote the free movement of goods in the free port area,” Eisma noted.
The project supports the will of the national government to strengthen the food safety regulatory system in the country in order to protect the health of consumers, in accordance with Republic Law No. 10611, or “Act to Strengthen the System food safety regulations in the country to protect the health of consumers and facilitate market access for local food and food products.
Dar said the Subic Cefa would ideally be built in an area of 2,000 square meters along the San Bernardino road near the new Subic container terminal. The Cefa will be completed within eight months of the start of construction, he added.
Dar said the DA would use the property strictly as a “first border facility” to thoroughly inspect imported containerized agro-fishery products and prevent the entry of transboundary agro-fishery pests and diseases.
He said the facility will house examination areas and laboratories for carrying out the quarantine and inspection protocols enforced by the Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry and Bureau of Plant Industry. agency fisheries and aquatic resources.
“We also took into consideration the volume of cargo arriving here,” Dar said.
“We expect 26,000 containers of meat, meat products, fishery products and plant products to enter Subic Freeport each year,” he added, citing the need to review all these cargoes.
With the proposed facility, Dar said the DA will be able to undertake a 100% in-depth inspection of the containerized animal, fish and plant products identified by the categorization of the risk assessment, and will be completed. by X-ray screening of the Customs Office which will be the subject of sampling and laboratory tests.
He said the facility will also have a crematorium to dispose of confiscated agricultural products and by-products, including those that have been misreported, unfit for human consumption, and contaminated and / or infected.
“I assure everyone that the emissions from the components of the crematorium and its outbuildings will not cause damage to the health and well-being of port workers and port users, nor will they have an adverse effect on the environment. ‘environment,’ Dar also said.
Before the deal was signed, Dar announced that Subic Cefa would earn at least 130 million pesos per year in testing and inspection fees.
The DA said similar facilities are being considered for construction at the ports of Manila, Batangas, Cebu and Davao.