Press Releases

No consultation made on AO 22 – Alcalanews2
People’s Journal
March 13, 2012

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala admitted that the government had failed to consult industry stakeholders before releasing the controversial Administrative Order No. 22, which has affected the meat industry. Alcala, during a recent meeting with meat processors, hog raisers, and meat importers, said a new order would be issued soon to replace AO 22.

The meat processors however insisted that the implementation of the order be discontinued while the review process is underway. Alcala instructed the National Meat Inspection Service to halt raids in wet markets and the confiscation of imported frozen pork. The DA chief made the comments during the first-ever public consultation on AO 22 which was attended by stakeholders in meat trading, including representatives from the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc, Meat Importers and Traders Association and Local Hog raiser group Pro Pork. Officials of regulatory agencies led by NMIS chief Jane C. Bacayo, NMIS assistant director Minda Manantan , Bureau of Animal Industry director Efren Nuestro, Assistant Agriculture Secretary for Livestock Davinio Catbagan, Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy Segfredo Serrano also attended the conference. The Department of Agriculture admitted that AO 22 was dine in haste as a safety net on the trading and handling of imported meat in 2010, without conducting any consultation with industry stakeholders. Industry stakeholders, including PAMPI, MITA and CCAP, branded AO 22 as a protectionist scheme purported by some sectors to deprive the Filipino the access to imported meat at vary affordable price. Manantan said revisions are being readied in AO 22. These include provisions that all frozen and thawed meat will now be handled under temperature-controlled conditions. The prepackaging of frozen and thawed meat would not be mandatory provided that the meat and meat product is accompanied by a Meat Inspection Certificate, which means the NMIS will now tolerate the use of coolers or styropor boxes to contain drippings of thawed meat. The DA will provide facilities for central cutting facility in wet markets at their cost and to be operated by the NMIS. Storage of frozen and thawed meat in meat freezers, coolers and likes would be allowed provided the temperature of the meat product does not exceed 5 deg C. A six-month review on the implementation of AO 22 will be undertaken by DA consultant Alicia Lustre.