Quarantine law nets P215,000 in first week

BENGUET, with the first week of implementation of the animal quarantine law, has collected P215,000 from traders plying the province’s major roads.

Board Member Robert Namoro said there might have been discrepancies on the implementation, resulting in the huge number, adding he would meet with the Provincial Veterinary Office.

"I am planning to talk with the provincial veterinarian on their actual implementation and we'll recommend maximum tolerance to be imposed upon clarification for the possible cases of harassment," said Namorro.

Namorro said the provincial veterinarian relayed some cases of traders refusing to pay fees.

This developed after vendors from Baguio City sought exemption from the regulatory fees.

Jane Duguman and Jeremiah Tallayo, who sell eggs in Baguio City, stated in a letter dated February 11 and addressed to the Benguet Provincial Board that eggs are not subject to quarantine like animals.

"We only pass by Tuba, we only travel for a few kilometers in order to reach our business destination. Thus, the freshness of our eggs is not affected. We believe that we are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture, Baguio City because they are the one issuing our carrier's permit to travel our products," said the petitioners.

The traders, under the new ordinance, are required to pay P10 per crate.

"We would like to clear up that our supplier is only providing 360 pieces of eggs per crate. If we were to compute it using the formula of 50 centavos per dozen, the charge is P15 per crate. This is the amount that is being charged to us not P10 as stated by the ordinance. We would like to clarify the basis for determining which formula will be used in computing for the charge," added the petitioners.

The new law, approved last year, aims to ensure public health and safety and minimize the occurrence of animal diseases by intensifying prevention brought in by animal traders.

Baguio City and Benguet are known market destinations where large volumes of livestock and poultry commodities are shipped in throughout the year. All collections will go directly the general fund of the province.

Under the provincial law, traders engaged in selling business entering the province are required to have animal health certificate and veterinary shipping permit.

Namoro said they will further discuss the matter in the committee, adding the new law has undergone public consultations.
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