Pinol orders total recall of import permits for meat, poultry products
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol issued an immediate recall of all permits to import meat and poultry products due to the proliferation of recycled permits that he said are being used in the technical smuggling of these products.
A technical working group, Pinol said in a statement, has been created to assess and handle the issuance of new permits.
Pinol made the move based on a United Nations report on the volume of meat and offals imported by the Philippines over the last few months.
He also said the agriculture department and the Bureau of Customs were alarmed by reports ompanies with import permits issued under the previous administration were caught “recycling” such permits twice or thrice to facilitate smuggling.
“What we just want is to clean up the issuance of permits. As long as they are legitimate importations, we will not stop it. We want a uniform imposition of tariff,” said Pinol.
Pinol said he ordered a review of imports of poultry products because of the coming holiday season to determine their source and ban those coming from countries with known bird flu virus.
He has also ordered a total ban on imports of onions to protect Filipino farmers. DMS