Manila (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said on Friday that any plan now of the government to use nuclear energy needs "thorough study" following the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Aquino explained that the country is now at a point wherein it has to take into consideration of what has been happening in Japan, which he said is a "highly technical country, very educated" in terms of nuclear energy and yet is facing "difficulties" now.

"Some might argue that the situation in Japan is different, but the bottom line perhaps is that this (nuclear energy) should be given thorough study," Aquino told reporters in the country`s northern province of Pangasinan.

"Should we get our power from nuclear sources?" he added.

There were proposals from some quarters in the Philippines to go nuclear and to revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant amid the looming power crisis.

A Philippine official on Wednesday expressed confidence that food items from Japan with high radiation levels as a result of the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis will not be able to enter the country.

Suzette Lazo, acting director of the Philippines` Food and Drug Administration, said that instead of banning food imports from Japan, authorities will simply disallow the entry of items found with higher-than-normal radiation levels and remove from the market any such items detected during random testing to begin soon.

``We`re not imposing any ban. There is no need to do that. We will just continue working on this until we are very sure that there is absolutely no problem,`` she said.

Lazo noted that the Japanese government itself is not allowing contaminated food from Fukushima Prefecture to be exported after radiation levels in milk and spinach were found to exceed government standards.

Food products imported from Japan include chocolates, noodles, dairy products, and seafood products such as mackerel.

Appearing after a meeting with importers of food from Japan, Lazo said industry players have agreed to cooperate with the government to ensure their products are safe.

``They are willing to come forward to pay with their money to have their products tested just to assure the public even when we are not requiring them to do that at this point,`` she said.

``We don`t expect really to see abnormal results. But just to make sure, we will monitor.``

Ed Agustin, whose company imports Meiji chocolates from Japan, said it will not allow its products to be distributed in the Philippines if they are found with high radiation levels.

``We always follow government standards,`` he told Kyodo News after their meeting with Lazo and officials from the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.

Lazo acknowledged that the nuclear crisis in Japan has sowed fear and panic among Filipino consumers, triggering importers from Japan to be ``concerned`` about their businesses.(*)

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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