DA mulls ban on shipment of live pigs to curb spread of ASF

Marje Pelayo   •   February 7, 2020   •   479

MANILA, Philippines – The Agriculture Department sees banning shipment of live pigs as a measure to stop further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) that recently affected thousands of pigs in the Davao Region.

Agriculture Undersecretary Ernesto Gonzales explained that ASF may have reached Davao City through the transportation of live hogs from Don Marcelino, the area where ASF was first detected in the Mindanao region.

Gonzales further noted that based on the regulations of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), live hogs may be slaughtered in nearby slaughterhouses accredited by the agency.

In the case of San Marcelino, the nearest slaughterhouse is in Davao City.

But as an additional measure, Gonzales said, the pork meat should already be cut into blocks then sealed in boxes before they are transported to local markets.

Kung naka-box, meat iyan siempre ang transmission niya (That’s meat so its transmission) is through a different vehicle, not from the farm,” explained Gonzales.

But to a group Samahang Industriya ng Argikultura (SINAG), it is more difficult to monitor the entry of ASF in an area if pork meat will be sealed in boxes.

Kung live mas madaling i-monitor kasi ilalagay nila sa mga sasakyan na dapat open, compare doon sa mga naka-box (It’s easier to monitor live pigs because they are boarded on an open vehicle rather than placing them inside boxes),” SINAG’s president Rosendo So said.

But Gonzales maintained that the boxes will only be opened once they reach their destination to check and to make sure that they are not contaminated.

Authorities lang ang magbubukas niyan from point to point. Walang ibang makakabukas diyan kundisa pagdating doon ng NMIS o BAI (Only proper authorities may open the boxes from point to point, only those from NMIS or BAI),” Gonzales clarified.

The official expressed concern over the possible rise in prices of pork meat once ASF continues to infect more areas in Davao Occidental.

SINAG emphasized that Mindanao produces 20% of the country’s pork meat requirement.

Amid the ASF woes, the group assured that the country has enough supply of pork meat for the next three months. – MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

Kaso ng ASF sa bansa, bumaba mula nang ipatupad ang community quarantine — BAI

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Iniulat ng Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) ngayong Biyernes, Hulyo 3 na malaki ang ibinaba sa kaso ng African Swine Fever (ASF) sa bansa matapos ipatupad ang community quarantine bunsod ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sa isang panayam sa UNTV program na Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, sinabi ni BAI Officer-in-Charge Dr. Ronnie Domingo na umaabot na lamang sa 20 kaso ng ASF kada isang milyong baboy ang naitatala ng ahensiya.

Mas mababa ito kumpara sa 63 cases na napaulat bago ipatupad ang community quarantine sa maraming lugar sa bansa.

Ayon kay Domingo, nakatulong ang paghihigpit sa pagbiyahe ng mga produktong baboy para mapigilan ang pagkalat ng ASF.

Sa kabila nito, sinabi ng opisyal na patuloy pa rin ang kanilang pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga lokal na pamahalaan upang mabantayan ang mga babuyan at agad maaksyunan ang mga kaso ng ASF infection.

“Doon sa mga katabing baryo kung saan mayroong tinamaan, karaniwan po ‘pag may na-report po sa atin na bagong naapektuhan ng mga baboy, sa katabing bayan po ‘yon o kaya sa katabing barangay at ‘yan po y’ong ating binabantayan ngayon. Nag-organisa po tayo para mahigpitan po natin y’ong mga paggalaw ng mga baboy sa isang lugar,” ani Domingo.

Patuloy rin ang kanilang pakikipag-ugnayan maging sa pribadong sektor upang mapigilan ang pagkalat pa ng ASF lalo’t maaaring mabuhay ang virus kahit sa frozen meat sa loob ng tatlong taon, batay sa mga pag-aaral.

Pinaiigting rin aniya ng BAI, katuwang ang Bureau of Customs at Department of Agriculture, ang kampanya laban sa smuggling ng karne na maaaring maging daan upang makapasok sa bansa ang ASF at iba pang mga sakit sa hayop.

“’Pag dumating ho y’ong mga meat products na yan sa pier, nagkakaroon lang ho ng initial examination kasi wala ho tayong cold storage facility sa mga pier,” ani Domingo.

“Bubuksan ho ‘yan, iche-check namin together with the Department of Agriculture officials, tapos ipa-podlock ho natin ‘yan. Babantayan natin kasama ng mga taga-DA at NMIS papunta po doon sa cold storage nila at pagdating po doon, iinspect natin 100 percent habang binababa po ‘yan,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang masasabat na mga pagkaing kontaminado ng ASF ay agad aniyang dinadala sa isang pasilidad kung saan maaari itong sunugin gamit ang kemikal upang mapuksa ang virus.

Bukod sa ASF, sinabi rin ni Domingo na binabantayan nila sa ngayon ang G4 strain ng swine disease na kamakaila’y napaulat na nadiskubre sa ilang baboy sa China.

Payo naman ni Domingo sa publiko na mas mainam pa ring suriin at lutuing mabuti ang mga binibiling karne ng baboy at iba pang meat products upang masigurong ligtas itong kainin. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Community quarantine slows down ASF infection – BAI

Marje Pelayo   •   June 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Meat traders in the Balintawak market are complaining of slow sales amid strict quarantine measures imposed in public markets due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vendor Cindy Baligao said the price of pork meat has increased by P40 to P50 per kilogram and P20 per kilogram for chicken.

She said the huge increase in prices makes it difficult to sell their products at a price acceptable to customers. 

“Hindi namin maidispose ng maayos yung presyuhan kasi sobrang taas na, [We cannot properly dispose of the products because of the very high price],” Cindy said. 

But according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), there is no shortage in the supply of pork and chicken.

BAI Officer-In-Charge Ronnie Domingo said traders may have been compelled to add the cost of transport to the market price of pork because they source them from areas not affected by African Swine Fever (ASF). 

“Kapag nag-byahe iyan, iyong gastos niya sa freight, sa transport, idadagdag niya yan sa pagbebenta nya nung retail ng karne. Kaya siguro nararanasan nila ang pagtaas ng presyo ng baboy sa lugar na iyon [During transport, the traders will pay for the freight charges, transport charges which they will add on the retail price of meat. That’s probably the reason for the increase],” Domingo said. 

On a positive note, Domingo said, the ASF cases in the country dropped by 10% in April and May when community quarantine orders were implemented.

This development was due to the strict protocols at checkpoints placed in borders by the local government units (LGU). 

“Dahil na-control mo ang pag-galaw ay mako-control mo din yung pagkalat ng sakit [By controlling the movement you were able to control the spread of disease],” Domingo said. 

“Sa Luzon naman, napansin natin overall ay pagpasok na nung ECQ ay bumaba na may drastic decrease nung mga reports na meron daw silang mga ASF cases [In Luzon, there was a drastic decrease in reports of ASF cases while the ECQ was in effect],” he added.

Meanwhile, BAI has changed its protocol in culling ASF-infected pigs. 

Instead of culling all pigs within the one-kilometer radius, the agency limited the culling only in the main area where the infected pigs are. 

Pigs in nearby areas from the infected site will only be placed under observation. 

As for the supply of chicken, the country’s supply is still enough at 200 per day until the end of the year. 

Overall, around 291,000 pigs or only about two percent of the country’s overall supply of swine or pig livestock were culled due to ASF. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Sara Duterte asks other LGUs to stop restricting travelers within Davao region

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte called on other local government units not to restrict the movement of people within areas in the Davao region that are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Duterte issued the statement during an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday following reports that some workers traveling from Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro to Davao City are being required to present documents and undergo a 14-day quarantine before granting them passage to Davao del Norte.

“That’s what I’ve been saying, for those of you who are ranting on Facebook, Sirs and Ma’ams, you should have prepared for this during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) because movement between GCQ areas would be allowed,” she said, apparently referring to officials of LGUs in neighboring areas.

Citing Section 7 (3) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the community quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), Duterte said the interzonal movement of persons between areas placed under GCQ for any purpose other than leisure is permitted.

“Is employment a leisure? It’s not, so they are allowed to move. There is a confusion on your part that you need to resolve,” she said.

The mayor also said that subjecting workers passing through the province to Davao City to a two-week quarantine was “unreasonable.”

“It’s unreasonable that those who are just passing through your area to return to work (in Davao City), who are not even working in your area will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. I don’t think it’s right preparation,” she said.

The entire Davao region, including Davao City, is under GCQ from May 16 to May 31.

The presidential daughter said that if other LGUs continue to restrict the movement of people to and from their areas then they should have instead opted for an extension of enhanced community quarantine implementation.

“Kung dili mo gusto magpasulod sa inyohang LGU, ipasaka mo to an ECQ because during an ECQ dili pwede mosulod, dili pwede mogawas. But during a GCQ, kung ang imohang silingan GCQ, ikaw GCQ, pwede mo magbiyahe for Category I, II, III na offices and establishments for work,” she said.

(If you do not allow entry, you raise your (quarantine level) to ECQ because during ECQ you don’t allow entry and exit. But during GCQ, if your neighbor is GCQ and you are GCQ, you can travel to offices and establishments categorized as I, II, III for work.)

In another statement, she, however, clarified that she is not intimidating nor dictating other local leaders about movement restrictions.

Instead, Duterte said she only requested them to refrain from asking “unnecessary” documents from people traveling to their areas.

“Ang ginaingon lang nako sa ilaha, ayaw pangayui ang tao og travel order, mangayo pa sila og seal, mangayo pa og tinuod nga pirma nako because that is not required. Ayaw ninyo pangayui ang mga tao og ing-ana. Kung ang tao moingon nga empleyado sila, di ba allowed man mo-move for work, kung ang tao moingon siya nga nagatrabaho ko diha, pangitai ninyo og ID,” the mayor stressed.

(What I told them is not to ask for a travel order, a (Davao City) seal, my original signature because that is not required. Don’t ask people for that. If the persons say they are workers are they not allowed to move for work? You can ask for an ID.)

Mayor Sara also pointed out that prohibiting the entry of people through lockdowns does not guarantee protection from the coronavirus.

She said LGUs should instead ready their local government for the possible surge of COVID-19 patients.

“Ang makaprotect po sa imoha is mag andam ka imohang prevention measures, mag-andam ka sa imohang detection especially sa inyohang surveillance, mag-andam mo sa inyohang testing,” she said.

(What will protect you is your prevention measures, prepare your detection measures especially with surveillance, and ready with testing.)

“So dapat nangita na mo og mga tao dinha sa inyohang lugar nga ginasubmit ninyo for testing because naga manifest sila og symptoms sa COVID-19. Mag andam po mo og treatment ug reintegration. Mao dapat na ang nagafunction karon nga GCQ na ang inyohang area,” she added.

(So look for the people you submitted for testing if they manifest the COVID-19 symptoms. Prepare treatment and reintegration. That is how you function under GCQ.)

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