Sep 212014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/06/06MANILA2319.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA2319 2006-06-02 11:46 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6007
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2319/01 1531146
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021146Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1291
INFO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 1269
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2687
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002319

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO SENV EAGR EAID PREL RP

SUBJECT: THE AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH AGRICULTURE SECRETARY

SIPDIS

REF: A) MANILA 2207 B) MANILA 1567 C) MANILA 860
D) STATE 023826 E) 05 STATE 209622

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED – NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION – PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

——-
SUMMARY
——-

¶1. (SBU) The Ambassador met with Agriculture Secretary
Panganiban on May 31 to discuss the status of the PL
480 agreement, continuing USG support for agricultural
development in Mindanao, and the GRP’s response plan
for avian influenza. Panganiban confirmed the GRP had
approved the PL 480 agreement. He then reported the
GRP’s plan for increasing agricultural production and
exports from Mindanao. Panganiban emphasized the GRP’s
focus on prevention of potential avian influenza
outbreaks.

——
PL 480
——

¶2. (SBU) The Ambassador, accompanied by the Acting
Foreign Agricultural Service Counselor, met with the
Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban on May 31.
The Ambassador acknowledged the strong agricultural
relationship between the U.S. and RP and asked
Panganiban about the status of the PL 480 agreement
negotiated by U.S. Department of Agriculture and the
Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) in February.
Panganiban stated that PL 480 was on the agenda of a
Cabinet meeting held on May 30, and it was approved.
The Ambassador emphasized the importance of signing PL
480 as quickly as possible.

¶3. (SBU) The Ambassador asked Panganiban about the
DA’s priorities for agricultural development.
Panganiban responded that the GRP planned to continue
agriculture training programs through the Fulbright
program. Another priority is funding of biotechnology
projects, particularly rice and corn, in order to
increase food production and nutritional value.
Currently the National Food Authority is the sole
importer of iron-fortified rice, targeting the areas of
Tawi-Tawi and Jolo in Mindanao, and Masbate.

———————–
AGRICULTURE IN MINDANAO
———————–

¶4. (SBU) The Ambassador asked Panganiban about how PL
480 will help agriculture in Mindanao. Panganiban
responded that projects will enable increases in
production of rubber and palm oil as commodities, as
well as fruits, fisheries, and aquaculture. The
Ambassador emphasized the USG’s continued interest in
developing agriculture in Mindanao. Panganiban also
stated that RP’s livestock industry, particularly in
Mindanao, has the potential for growth. Growth rates
currently range from 1.7 percent to 2.7 percent, mostly
due to lack of government funding. He anticipates an
increase in exports of halal meat products, including
sheep, goat, and poultry products, to Muslim countries,
including Saudi Arabia. Panganiban also praised
USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM-2) program.

—————
AVIAN INFLUENZA
—————

¶5. (SBU) Panganiban recognized that although no avian
influenza cases have been reported in the RP,
prevention is a priority for the GRP. He stated that
the GRP currently has a two-pronged approach to prevent
avian influenza. Using funds provided by USAID and New
Zealand, the GRP will conduct a rural information
campaign for poultry workers and develop an inventory
of the poultry population. The GRP has also begun a
public awareness campaign using radio and posters which
have not yet thoroughly penetrated local communities.

MANILA 00002319 002 OF 002

The Ambassador asked about using local veterinarians,
and Panganiban answered that local veterinarians are
trained to detect avian influenza but the GRP has to
coordinate further with local governmental units. The
Ambassador and Panganiban agreed that prevention and
education would have to be done at the local level.

¶6. (SBU) Panganiban mentioned his US-sponsored
attendance at an APEC conference in Hanoi, where he
learned that Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam involved
the private sector in their response to their avian
influenza breakouts. He stated that private industry
in the RP is also concerned about avian influenza, as
this may affect chicken exports. The RP poultry
exports have recently been reopened to Japan. Japan
had placed a temporary ban on poultry imports from the
RP after an AI scare involving a Filipino duck farm in
July 2005. Tests later confirmed that the ducks did
not have AI. However, Japan maintained its ban of RP
poultry for close to one year. The resumption of
poultry exports is good news to Filipino companies,
which gained increased market share in Japan after
outbreaks of avian influenza in major poultry exporting
countries such as Thailand. Local companies are also
entering into joint ventures for export of processed
poultry products to Korea. Panganiban stated that
while the World Health Organization has established
pandemic preparatory measures, he believes that avian
influenza should be stopped at the source by culling
diseased chickens, thereby protecting the poultry
industry.

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶7. (SBU) Cabinet approval represents the final step in
the interagency approval process for PL 480.
Indications are that the agreement should be ready for
signature before the end of June. Panganiban
understood that while the RP does not have any recorded
instances of avian influenza, preventative measures
must be in place and appeared willing to consider
creative means for prevention.

KENNEY

   

 

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