China holding over 500 container vans of fruit, not 150, say exporters | Global News
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China holding over 500 container vans of fruit, not 150, say exporters

/ 03:25 AM May 20, 2012

GOING BANANAS. Cavendish bananas from Mindanao are still held in Chinese ports for quarantine inspection by authorities. The number is more than 150 vans. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY—Mindanao exporters said Friday the number of container vans of bananas that have been held for quarantine inspection by Chinese authorities since March was way over the 150 vans announced by Malacañang.

“How did it become 150? At the Shanghai port alone, we have a minimum of 500 container vans being held,” said Analee Javellana, secretary of the Mindanao Federation of Banana Exporters’ Association (MBFEA).

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MBFEA is made up of small exporters.

Stephen Antig, president of the larger banana exporters group Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), echoed Javellana.

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“I think they (government officials) got the figures wrong,” Antig said. “Definitely not just 150 container vans.”

Antig said some 240 container vans being held in the ports of Dalian, Shanghai and Xingang were to be returned to the Philippines.

“But we are still trying to confirm from what Philippine ports the container vans originated and whose shipments they were,” he said.

When told that the government was insisting that there were only 150 container vans being held after Chinese authorities allegedly found a type of insect widely known to affect coconuts in one of the vans, Javellana said, “We were the ones who exported them so we know the figures.”

“The figures were given to us by each of the individual exporters because each of us has our own volume and, grouped together, we came up with that volume,” Javellana, who exported 15 container vans to China, said.

Philexport Mindanao said it had notified the Department of Agriculture about the wrong figure so the government could correct its statement.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala during a visit here Monday said the quarantine procedure being implemented by Chinese authorities appeared to be a normal thing and the move had nothing to do with the Philippines-China standoff regarding competing claims over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

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He said that because it appeared the quarantine procedures were not political, the government would continue to encourage exports to China. Germelina Lacorte and Judy Quiros, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Bananas, China-Philippines trading relations, Mindanao Federation of Banana Exporters’ Association (MBFEA), Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA)
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