Singapore is ready to accept agricultural exports coming from the Philippines after successful sanitary inspections of several poultry and hog farms.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Singapore is now open to receiving the initial shipment of table eggs, chicken, pork and vegetables from the Philippines after the recent on-site inspection of technical teams from Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
Piñol recently met with Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho Wei Hong.
Hong said Singapore is now looking at the Philippines as a reliable source of its food and agriculture imports.
“We have traditionally relied on products from Malaysia and Indonesia but now we are looking at the Philippines as the new source of our food needs,” he said.
For his part, Piñol said the Philippines would like to take advantage of the country’s proximity to Singapore, where most available agricultural products are imported.
“Singapore is like a second city for us Filipinos, and we want to further strengthen our trade relationship,” he said.
Last month, the AVA sanitary inspectors arrived in the Philippines to check on the production and processing facilities for eggs, chicken and pork in the country.
The Bureau of Animal Industry, the National Meat Inspection Service and the Bureau of Plant Industry are now completing the requirements to start the export of food and agricultural products to Singapore.
Among the commodities identified for export to Singapore are high-value vegetables and fruits, pork and processed pork products, dressed chicken and eggs, and some fish.
Apart form these, Piñol said the Philippines is ready to feature different food recipes and products from smart greenhouses.
“We want to pursue our earlier proposal to set up an agri-aqua show which also marks the 50th year of our diplomatic relations with Singapore,” he said.
The trade show aims to help businessmen find specific products to be imported and enable farmers to understand international standards.
“It will be easier for us if we know the requirements that will meet your standard, including the type of packaging you need. We will adjust,” Piñol said.
At the tail end of 2018, Malaysia — Singapore’s traditional egg supplier — announced that it is scaling down its egg exports to ensure sufficient supply for its domestic market.
The Department of Agriculture then reached out to Singapore to make a formal offer to supply their food requirements.
The Philippines should have started exporting pork to Singapore during the Aquino administration but the ebola outbreak in Bulacan prevented it from doing so in 2009.