MANILA – Malacañang has allayed fears over the reported thrashing of 35 tons of bananas from the Philippines by Chinese authorities, saying it will not affect the trade relations of the two countries.
Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday that according to Trade and Industry Secretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr., the quantity of the destroyed bananas is too small to have an impact on the relations of the Philippines and China.
“The reported quantity, 35 metric tons, is too small as it is equivalent to only two containers or around 2,700 boxes with value estimated at FOB PhL1.4 million only. This quantity is too small in terms of the overall Philippines-China trade relations. We surmised that the subject shipment did not meet the rigid sanitary and phytosanitary inspections of China and were rejected and destroyed routinely as part of SPS procedures to prevent contamination. The quantity is not unusual in as far as rejections are concerned in the normal course of business. It is also possible that the shipment was rejected due to levels of pesticides exceeding maximum residue limit or MRL,” Coloma said, quoting the DTI Secretary.
“Mayroon po kasing pinaiiral ang World Trade Organization na patakaran hinggil sa SPS o ang Sanitary and Phytosanitary inspection at routinary lang po ito at ayon po sa unang pagturing sa impormasyon, routine matter lang po ang pagsasagawa ng ganyang pagsusuri na para bang quality control inspection,” he explained.
According to reports, customs officials at the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen destroyed 34.78 tons of substandard bananas imported from the Philippines.
The bananas worth US$ 33,000 were tested and were found to have an excessive amount of pesticide.