The Mindanao banana industry wants the Philippine government and Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to meet and resolve protocol issues surrounding the banana export industry.
In an interview on Tuesday, Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) executive director Stephen Antig underscored the importance of the protocol issue, adding that this can only be done through government-to-government action.
Antig said the protocol issue was raised in August 2018 on Fipronil exceedance of the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) after Japan required 100 percent mandatory testing of Philippine bananas entering the country. "The 100 percent mandatory testing delays the release of the bananas to the market," he said.
He added that the issue remains unresolved despite the corresponding actions by concerned exporting companies when Japan’s MHLW required the Department of Agriculture to submit the protocol for the export of fresh banana to Japan.
Antig said PBGEA wrote a letter to DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on March 20 about Japan’s feedback that the interventions implemented by the BPI are either not enough or not the ones required by Japan's MHLW.