Palace: China trashing ‘substandard’ PH bananas won’t affect trade ties
Malacañang on Sunday allayed fears that the destruction of 35 tons of “substandard” bananas from the Philippines by Chinese authorities last Saturday (March 26) will affect the trade relations between the two countries.
In an interview which aired on state-run dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. quoted Trade Secretary Albert Cristobal who said that the quantity of the destroyed bananas is “too small” to affect the trade relations between the Philippines and China.
Cristobal said that the value of the bananas is estimated at P1.4 million pesos only.
“The reported quantity, 35 metric tons, is too small as it is equivalent to only two containers or around 2,700 boxes with value estimated at FOB (Free on Board) 1.4 million pesos only. This quantity is too small in terms of the overall Philippines-China trade relations,” Cristobal was quoted as saying.
The trade secretary also said that the bananas may have been rejected as these did not pass the “rigid sanitary and phytosanitary inspections of China” to avoid contamination.
“The quantity is not unusual in as far as rejections are concerned in the normal course of business. It is also possible that the shipment was rejected due to levels of pesticides exceeding maximum residue limit or MRL,” Cristobal added.
On Saturday, customs authorities in the Chinese city of Shenzhen destroyed 34.78 tons of bananas exported by the Philippines due to excessive pesticide use, according to a Reuters report.
China’s state-run television company CCTV said that carbendazim found in the bananas exceeded China’s limit on pesticide residue in food. The bananas were mashed and put in a landfill.
China and the Philippines are currently locked in a tense territorial dispute on islands in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines has since challenged the claims of China over the territories in the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. JE
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