BAI confirms African Swine Fever in QC

UNTV News   •   September 20, 2019   •   253

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) confirmed on Friday (September 20) Mayor Joy Belmonte’s previous announcement on African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in two barangays in the city.

Out of the 45 blood samples from pigs in Barangays Bagong Silangan and Payatas submitted to the BAI, 35 test results were returned and 21 of them tested positive for ASF.

Earlier today, Mayor Belmonte met with hog growers to discuss the planned culling operations in the affected areas.

Based on the protocol, all pigs within the one kilometer radius from ground zero or the site where the virus was first detected, shall be culled.

Belmonte assured hog growers that a budget of P10M for financial assistance will be allotted for ASF-affected areas in the city.

The amount of compensation for each pig culled will be P3,000.

Pag namatay ang iyong baboy, wala kayong makukuha tulong mula sa lungsod Quezon, (If your pigs died, you will not get anything from the city government),” Belmonte said.

Kung buhay pa ang iyong baboy at ilapit nyo na sa amin, kayo ay makakatanggap ng financial assistance sa bawat baboy ng P3,000 (If the hogs are still alive and you reported them to us, you will receive financial assistance from us amounting to P3,000 per live pig),” she added.

Based on reported statistics, there are about 2,000 hogs currently being bred in Barangay Payatas while Bagong Silangan has 900 pigs.

Mayor Belmonte noted, however, that they cannot determine the exact number of pigs being raised across the city given that the local government has already banned backyard hog raising.

The Mayor reiterated her warning against those who would attempt to conceal their infected pigs or try to dispose them irresponsibly.

“Kung itatapon niyo sa creek ay idedemanda ko kayo (If you dump them in creeks, I will sue you),” she warned.

“Kung itatakas niyo idedemanda ko kayo (If you try to bring them somewhere else, I will also sue you), the Mayor said. — MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Erratum: An earlier version of this article quoted Quezon City government’s earlier statement which said that out of the 45 blood samples from Barangay Payatas and Barangay Bagong Silangan sent to BAI, eight appeared positive for ASF.

DILG to ask LGUs to lift entry ban on pork products from Luzon

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to issue a memorandum circular to encourage local government units (LGUs) to lift their respective bans on entry of pork products coming from Luzon.

The LGUs imposed their own measures to prohibit the entry of pork products in their area in protection against the further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the DA requested them to allow meat processors to transport their products provided that their products are properly documented, properly processed, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Incorporated (PAMPI) argued that so far, 56 provinces have existing import ban on pork and pork items from the Luzon region.

The group added that the meat processing industry would suffer P55-B loss in profit every year should the local governments not heed lifting the import ban.

PAMPI assured that its products are safe for public consumption, therefore, they are confident that they will not cause the spread of the ASF virus. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

4 suspected robbers killed in QC shootout

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Four suspects in a robbery incident were killed in a shootout with police in Payatas Road, Quezon City early Tuesday morning.

According to the Batasan Police Station, they were patrolling the area at around 3 a.m. when they received a report about a robbery incident in a convenience store and gasoline station involving the suspects.

Responding police officers engaged the suspects in a brief gunfight that led to the death of the purported robbers.

Prior to the encounter, workers at the gasoline station said the four suspects, wearing black masks and helmets, arrived in the area on board two motorcycles and declared a hold-up.

“Hinawakan po ako sa leeg tapos pinadapa po ako. Tapos kinuha na po ang pera ng company tapos kasama yung cellphone,” recounted Elmer Boduan, who works as a cashier at the gasoline station.

While two of the suspects were robbing the gasoline station, their two other cohorts entered the convenience store, pulled a gun at its workers and forcibly took the money from the cash register and a mobile phone.  

“May dalang baril po yung lalaki papunta sa akin. Tumakbo ako. Tumago ako. Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Labas ka diyan. Buksan mo y’ong kaha ninyo,’” said Vanessa Epis, the store’s cashier.

The alleged robbers then fled with at least P19,000 in cash and two mobile phones.

Their escape, however, turned into a chase after police officers spotted and pursued them along Payatas Road.

The suspects allegedly opened fire but police retaliated and gunned them down.

Recovered from the scene were four .38 caliber revolver, two motorcycles, one mobile phone, a digital weighing scale and four sachets of suspected shabu.

Police said the slain suspects are yet to be identified. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DA increases indemnity payment for pigs culled due to ASF to P5,000

Marje Pelayo   •   October 14, 2019

Culled pigs are hauled toward a collection truck after symptoms of African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected in the Pasong Tamo village of Quezon City, Philippines, 03 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) will now get P5,000 for each pig culled within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero where the deadly pig virus was detected.

So far, the Department of Agriculture (DA) already recorded more than 40,000 pigs culled due to ASF.

The DA is now strengthening its quarantine checkpoints in different parts of the country to stop the spread of the ASF virus.

On Friday (October 11), around 700 crates of pig products were seized in San Juanico Bridge in Tacloban City from Bulacan amounting to P1.6 million.

According to the Tacloban Veterinary Office, the products were confiscated for lack of necessary documents.

In his social media post, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Secretary Manny Piñol questioned why such shipment was able to pass the quarantine checkpoints in Matnog in Sorsogon and in Northern Samar.

The DA, meanwhile, said it is conducting an investigation on the matter.

“That is something that we have to find-out kung bakit nakalusot ito (why it passed slip the quarantine checkpoints),” said DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan.

Meat processors, on the other hand, fear of possible loss in income of up to P55 billion if the government will not impose a more concrete system in banning the transportation of pork products.

According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI), their products undergo proper food treatment to eliminate the ASF virus.

“Processed meats are not carriers of ASF,” explained PAMPI Spokesperson Rex Agarrado.

“Processed meats are all processed at temperatures that kill the organism,” he added. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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