Exotic Bugs Found in Fruits Brought in by Passenger

Article excerpt

Byline: RONNIEL DE GUZMAN

Plant Quarantine Service (PQS) personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) discovered exotic bugs from the fruits brought in the country by a passenger from Bangkok, Thailand.

The insect identified as mango seed weevil (sternochaetus mangiferae) came from a variety of small but rare beetle that lays egg to mango seed.

Alberto U. Ramos, PQS-NAIA officer in charge, said the bugs that would imperil the growing mango industry in the country once they contaminate the fruit, find the seed as haven for the young bugs for incubation.

It was learned that a passenger, identified as Panya Visetnut, a Thai, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Friday afternoon on Thai Airways flight TG624 carrying seven mangoes and several ordinary plants hidden inside his baggage.

Ramos said customs examiner Josie Bulanhagui consulted Veronica S. Felipe, a plant quarantine officer, about what she had found in the baggage of Visetnut, who failed to show any export permit.

Felipe then explained to the passenger that the fruits would be brought instead to the Plant Quarantine Diagnostic Laboratory (PQDL) for examination and analysis. …