He said the disease wiped out the then-popular Gros Michel bananas in Central America and the Caribbean in the 1960s.
The disease also destroyed Cavendish plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia in the 1990s.
Traces of the fungus were found in controllable levels in the Philippines five years ago, Antig said.
But a more virulent type of the fungus emerged last month and quickly began spreading through plantations in the southern region of Mindanao, where most of the country's banana exports come from, he said.
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