The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted a total of 775.6 kilograms (kg) of meat and meat products without sanitary and phytosanitary clearance from January to June 2020.
Confiscated were 268.2 kg of pork, 106.4 kg of beef, 298.2 kg of poultry, and 102 kg of other kinds of meat which arrived without permits and health clearance and came from countries with cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), BOC said in a statement.
The products have been turned over to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for quarantine and immediate disposal to prevent the further spread of ASF, which already has cases locally since August 2019.
BOC NAIA said its frontliners manning the passenger area and air cargo warehouses at NAIA complex remain on alert against the possible entry of contaminated meat products, especially with the emergence of a new strain of swine flu recently discovered in China.
Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero last week directed customs officials to be vigilant and examine carefully all imported reefer containers to ensure pork and pork-related products that may be carriers of a new strain of swine flu virus will not be allowed entry into the Philippines.
Chinese researchers have recently discovered a new type of swine flu that can infect humans and has the potential to cause a future pandemic, according to a study published by scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on June 29.