International shipment must be treated with the same amount of caution people are met with during quarantine protocols. With that, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Animal Industry has laid out the groundwork for the establishment of the first-border inspection (FBI) facilities in the country’s major ports, beginning with Manila International Container Port. 

The FBI will be conducted on animals, fisheries, plants and other related agricultural products from foreign countries. These biosecurity measures are designed to protect animals, plants and the public. 

Each facility will be manned by at least 39 technical personnel and will house an Agriculture Commodity Examination Area (ACEA) and crematorium. The controlled temperature environment in ACEAs will allow officers to inspect high-risk agricultural shipment. These will be the first ACEAs in the Philippines, a facility that’s already present in developed countries to strengthen food safety and quarantine regulations.

“Each ACEA will feature a laboratory to enable the immediate testing of samples from commodities suspected to carry animal, fish or plant pests or diseases and other hazardous contents. A crematorium will also be in place to ensure safe disposal of confirmed agricultural commodities with quarantine violations, if these cannot be returned to origin,” according to the DA’s official website.

The FBI facilities will also be put up at Manila South Harbor, Subic Freeport Zone, Port of Batangas, Cebu International Port, and Port of Davao. Two billion pesos have been set aside for the establishment of these ACEAs. Secretary Dar says that these facilities will prevent the spread of other infectious diseases such as foot and mouth disease, avian influenza and African swine fever.

“The ACEAs will enable us to perform 100% inspection of farm commodities especially those on high risk or ‘Alert Order’ status. This will help us reduce or prevent smuggling of agricultural products, and prevent the entry of major animal, plant and fish diseases that will endanger the country’s agricultural industry,” says the DA secretary.

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