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Briefs: DA confirms select Mekeni products ASF-positive



The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), has confirmed that some pork products of the Pampanga-based Mekeni Foods Corporation tested positive for African swine fever (ASF).

In a news briefing on Monday, the BAI Director Ronnie Domingo said selected Mekeni skinless longganisa and hotdog products were ASF-positive after the agency conducted a validation test.

With this development, the DA vowed to closely manage, control and contain the spread of ASF) through elevated measures. This include heightened quarantine procedures, from the national and local levels.

A case in point was the recent apprehension of a traveler from Batangas who brought a package of branded and unbranded processed pork products. They were confiscated by a composite veterinary and quarantine team at Calapan Port last 6 October.

The seized items bought from local markets in Luzon tested positive for ASF viral DNA.

On 24 October, the DA’s National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) collected samples from the concerned meat processing plant, where the seized branded products came from. Samples were collected from fresh frozen meat imported from Canada, US, and France. The test results were negative.

However, the other set of samples of longganisa and picnic hotdog tested positive, based on tests conducted on 25 October by the DA Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Central Luzon (RADDL III).

Thereafter, the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry Veterinary Laboratory Division conducted two validation tests as requested by the manufacturer.

Even before the results of the test came out, Mekeni voluntarily recalled their pork-based products from the market.

The DA said the confirmation of the test results hopes to end consumers’ speculations that may have an untoward effect on all other processed pork products to the detriment of other meat processors.

NBS joins Cashalo’s expanding merchant network

Cashalo, the fintech company working to accelerate financial inclusion for every Filipino, announced a partnership with National Book Store (NBS), allowing shoppers to “Shop Now and Pay Later” through Pay with Cashalo, an innovative digital credit payment solution.

National Book Store joins Cashalo’s growing network of over 100 partners (across over 500 retail locations) which include Cherry Mobile, Memoxpress, Robinsons Appliances, Robinsons Department stores, Blade, Spyder, Mi Department stores and Uno Factory outlets.

The Cashalo experience at NBS locations is designed to be secure, convenient and fast. Customers can apply for a pre-approval through the Cashalo mobile app even before visiting a store, saving time as it allows customers to have visibility over their working budget in advance. Credit lines range from P2,250 to P19,999, depending on the approved credit amount.

Once approved, shoppers are given the option to select a repayment term of 3, 6 or 9 monthly installments and are shown the exact repayment amount to settle each month, inclusive of interest rates. There are no hidden fees, so users will never pay more than what they agree to.

“National Book Store serves millions and has become the country’s leading school and office supplies store with its commitment to help Filipinos ‘live better,’ which closely aligns with our own mission to help ‘improve financial well-being’ for Filipinos,” said Hamilton Angluben, General Manager of Cashalo. “We are excited to give more Filipinos the opportunity to shop at National Book Store and enjoy a new, reliable and innovative way to buy the learning or working supplies they need.”

Previously known as “Cashacart,” “Shop Now and Pay Later” is a pioneering offline to online (O2O) consumer financing product under Cashalo’s digital credit payment solution, Pay with Cashalo. This solution is purpose-built as a convenient and reliable alternative to cash and traditional credit. Since its launch a year ago, Cashalo has already helped over 1.5 million previously credit invisible Filipinos build financial identities. The company now has a customer base of over 2.2 million Filipinos, with the Cashalo app having been downloaded more than 5 million times and counting.

Phoenix price rollback

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease️ the prices of gasoline by P0.10 per liter and diesel by P0.25 per liter effective 6 a.m. of 05 November 2019.