AUSTRALIA AND THE PHILIPPINES LAUNCH FUMIGATION SCHEME TO HELP STRENGTHEN TRADE
Australian Ambassador Rod Smith, together with Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Director Joel Rudinas, has launched a fumigation accreditation scheme which will make it easier for Philippine companies export their products to Australia.
The PhP 6 million Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS), funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), is now being implemented following the successful training and accreditation of local fumigators during the last two years.
Ambassador Rod Smith hands over a plaque from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Director Joel Rudinas and Plant Quarantine Chief Larry Lacson (rgt) to mark the start of the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) in the Philippines this month.
“The AFAS is a significant initiative in our efforts to further strengthen trade relations between Australia and the Philippines,” Ambassador Smith said.
“The BPI and the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) have worked tirelessly to ensure the successful transfer of skills and knowledge to the Philippine fumigation industry including training and accrediting fumigators and government officers, and registering fumigation companies.
“With the implementation of the AFAS, the Philippines will now have an improved capability to treat products requiring fumigation for export to Australia and other markets.”
Training under the AFAS Philippines project started in 2006. The project aimed to enhance the technical expertise of Philippine fumigation providers through training to meet Australia’s quarantine requirements. The AFAS scheme is also operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Papua New Guinea.
“The AFAS will contribute to environmentally sustainable development with the decreased use of methyl bromide— a known ozone depleting gas associated with a number of occupational health and safety issues,” Ambassador Smith said.
“In addition to creating new trade opportunities with Australia, the scheme will also enhance the marketability of Philippine products to other countries and assist local businesses by reducing import and export costs.
"The implementation of the AFAS in the Philippines will assist the Philippines meet its goal to establish a wider market for its products. The Australian Government is very supportive of this endeavour and will continue to work with the Philippine Government to help improve the Philippines’ capacity to take advantage of global markets.”