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New weapon in Scarborough standoff: Bananas means BUSINESS

MANILA, Philippines - The government on Friday said banana exporters have been problems with their shipments to China as a result of the ongoing stand-off between the two countries over Scarborough Shoal.

In a press briefing, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte said they would raise the issue with concerned government agencies to help banana exporters.

Because of the ongoing stand-off, Filipino banana producers said China imposed stricter regulations on Philippine-produced bananas entering the Chinese market.

“We will take that concern up with our agencies. Meron kaming tinanong recently sa Department of Agriculture na concern din ng mga banana farmers and exporters, but we will take that up also with the DA,” Valte said.

“But as far as the relationship is concerned, we continue to talk… It’s just one facet of the relationship that we have with China. We have quite a broad relationship with them and we hope that this will not affect the other facets of our relationship with them.”

Local banana producers said that tension between the Philippines and China may impact on the country’s banana industry as China recently imposed a tighter rule on incoming banana shipments.

The Scarborough Shoal issue, according to banana exporters may be a political one but it could have a devastating effect on the trading relations between the Philippines and China.