PH’s first border inspection facility to rise in Bulacan

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PH’s first border inspection facility soon to rise in Bulacan
At the July 20 signing of the MOU between Department of Agriculture and Pacific Roadlink Logistics Inc for the establishment of the Philippines' first Cold Examination Facility in Agriculture. Photo from DA.
  • The Philippines’ first Cold Examination Facility in Agriculture will soon rise in Angat, Bulacan
  • CEFA is expected to help curb smuggling
  • The Department of Agriculture and Pacific Roadlink Logistics signed an MOU for construction of the facility
  • Construction is expected to be completed in six to eight months
  • DA has earmarked P2.3 billion for the Angat facility and two other hubs in Cebu and Davao
  • CEFA will initially serve as a 24-hour off-dock customs facility to handle agricultural imports from the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port

The Philippines’ first border inspection facility for agricultural imports will soon rise in Angat, Bulacan.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed on July 20, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Pacific Roadlink Logistics Inc. (PRLI) will establish a Cold Examination Facility in Agriculture (CEFA) aimed at strengthening the country’s capability to conduct first border inspections; improving examination of containerized agricultural products; and helping curb agricultural smuggling.

In a statement, the DA said it has earmarked P2.3 billion under its 2023 budget for the construction of the facility and two other hubs in Cebu and Davao.

Under the MOU, PRLI will allow use, for up to 25 years, of its 10-hectare lot along General Alejo Santos Highway for the CEFA.

About 50 kilometers north of the Port of Manila, CEFA will include a laboratory for testing all imported animal, fish, plant, and other agricultural products; an incinerator; container yard; and truck parking.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and CEFA project director Paul Limson said construction of the facility is expected to be completed within six to eight months.

The facility will initially serve as a 24-hour off-dock customs facility to handle agricultural importations from the two country’s main ports – the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port.

The facility will be operated by the DA’s Food Safety and Regulatory Agencies: BAI, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and National Meat Inspection Service.

The MOU signing was led by DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, Senate Committee on Agriculture chairperson Senator Cynthia A. Villar, House Committee on Agriculture chairman Mark Enverga, and PRLI president Edgar Dominic Milla.

“We must continuously assert our vigilance in protecting industry from pests and diseases that pose serious threats to agricultural productivity in the country. This partnership is a testament to our commitment,” Panganiban said at the signing ceremony.

Apart from protecting livelihood and ensuring quality and safe food for Filipinos, the facility is expected to create jobs for 1,500-2,000 unskilled workers and bring about economic transformation to the province of Bulacan.

Under the previous administration, DA had already agreed to construct the first CEFA at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, a plan that apparently fell through.