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The Philippines is making use of the third tranche of the European Union’s Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) program in order to export shellfish to Europe, according to Agriculture Planning officer Maribel Marges.
Dennis Tiotangco of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) explained that the Philippines needs to comply with EU sanitary and phytosanitary requirements before the latter will import Philippine shellfish.
"For this we need to build our own national shellfish accreditation program. We have asked the TRTA to help us on this," he said.
The Fisheries Bureau had earlier identified mussels, clams, oysters and scallops for cultivation as possible exports to the EU.
The TRTA program supports poverty-alleviating projects in the Philippines "through further integration into the international trade system." It does this by enhancing government agencies' ability to facilitate this integration.
The program assists projects of the Agriculture and Trade Departments, the Bureau of Customs and the National Economic Development Authority.
The TRTA’s third tranche offers €8.9 million, or P469.55 million, for all projects that will come under the program. To facilitate the export of shellfish, these monies will be used to build infrastructure such as research and development laboratories.
Under the earlier P435-million TRTA 2, the Philippines was able to strengthen the fisheries, plant and animal bureaus via a number of programs that successfully addressed trade issues.
Particularly, the Fisheries Bureau was able to improve the food safety and inspection systems that ensured continued Philippine fish exports to the EU. — DVM, GMA News