SMX Convention Center, Pasay City
25 June 2015
President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the importance and contribution of the livestock industry to the continuing growth of the country’s economy and food security as he faced several local and international exhibitors during the opening ceremonies of the Livestock 2015 Philippines Expo and Conference at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
This year’s conference highlights the flow of animals as food from the raising of livestock to the processing stage for commercial or residential use, focusing on the theme, “Food Safety from Farm to Shell”. It is expected that 5,000 delegates representing the entire livestock value chain will grace the said event, which includes farmers, feed millers, manufacturers, and traders of feed ingredients from across the Philippines and neighboring countries.
For the third time since the conference started in 2011, President Aquino cited the event as a great venue for sharing of ideas and exploring of partnerships that can address threats in the nation’s physical and economic well-being. Yet, the administration continues to exert efforts in this regard.
The President expressed that the Philippines has been performing well when it comes to food security, saying the government increased its commitment in the livestock and poultry industry. With this, the sector was given a 108 percent increase in their budget to focus primarily on animal health by providing vaccinations and undertaking disease surveillance to eradicate animal diseases.
Likewise, to promote food safety among Filipinos, he said that Congress amended laws to address this matter, two of which are the Meat Inspection Code and the Food Safety Act of 2013 that strengthens food regulatory system to protect consumer health and food exports.
On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture (DA) maintained its measures to secure the country’s food supply by finding ways to maximize the benefits of the Philippines’ eligibility as meat exporter. Two large scale projects, namely the AAA Poultry Dressing Plant Project in Tarlac and the AAA Slaughterhouse Project in Batangas, costing Php120 and Php150 million respectively, are expected to help the sector. Both projects are expected to be completed within the year.
President Aquino called on the Filipino people to sustain the growth of the industry, as well as the quality of the livestock and poultry sector.
“This is why I encourage all of you to make the most of this opportunity: to continue sharing your ideas and best practices towards creating livestock industry and consequently a Philippines, that we can be proud to bequeath to future generations,” the President said.
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