Manila, Philippines, February 6, 2014—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping the Philippines Department
of Agriculture improve inspections and quarantine procedures of local and
imported meat, fish, and plant produce in a five-year program. The move
is expected to improve food safety, benefit some 1,500 agribusinesses,
and save around $12 million because of reduced costs in complying with
import and export safety requirements.
IFC is advising the Department of Agriculture
on streamlining trade practices and focusing inspections on goods that
pose the highest risks to the reputation of Philippine products. IFC is
also helping the department set up an online system for sharing data about
risks found in agri-fishery products that affect humans, plants, and animals.
“These trade logistics reforms are
far-reaching, and we want our decisions informed by feedback from our stakeholders,”
said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala. “We want to say with a high
degree of certainty that the imported and domestically produced meat, milk,
fish and plant products that Filipinos eat are safe for human consumption.
We also want to assure other countries that ‘proudly Philippine-made’
products are free of pests and diseases, and that the Philippines is ready
for ASEAN integration in 2015.”
IFC and the department are holding consultations
this week with local agri-fishery businesses on how to improve the country’s
border inspection procedures and combat pests and diseases in plants, fish,
“The program will help reduce the cost
of compliance with quarantine requirements and provide around-the-clock,
real-time access to import and export trade data for better risk management
and trade analysis,” said IFC Resident Representative Jesse Ang.
The partnership between IFC and the
department is supported by the Canadian government.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme
poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed
to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the
private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development
challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.