DA says African Swine Fever detected in another QC village

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2019   •   213

A city veterinarian (R) takes a blood sample from a pig in a backyard piggery to test for African Swine Fever (ASF) in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 17 September 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday confirmed that pigs from another village in Quezon City have tested positive for the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Agriculture Secretary Wiliam Dar said the ASF has already reached the backyard farms of Barangay Tatalon following reports of hog infection.

This brings to three the total ASF-infected areas in Quezon City along with Payatas and Bagong Silangan, which according to city Mayor Joy Belmonte have culled more than 3,000 pigs.

Dar said they have placed backyard hog farms in Barangay Tatalon under quarantine and implemented the 1-7-10 protocol.

The protocol includes the culling of hogs within one-kilometer radius of infected farms and the setting up of quarantine checkpoints in strategic locations to prevent the movement of all live pigs, pork and pork-related products.

Hog farms, particularly backyard operations, within seven-kilometer radius are subjected to continued surveillance procedures and tests to determine the extent of infection in animals.

Swine farms within a 10-kilometer radius, on the other hand, are required to submit a mandatory report on the disease.

Investigation on how the dreaded disease reached the area is also underway.

The Agriculture department earlier said the swine disease was already contained in the regions of Rizal and Bulacan while several hogs in Pangasinan area are still being tested following reports on the presence of the said virus in some backyard farms.

QC bans single-use plastic, Palace hopes other LGUs will follow

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2019

The Quezon City government approved an ordinance that will ban single-use plastic effective January 1, 2020.

According to the Quezon City government single-use plastics and other disposable materials will no longer be allowed in establishments in Quezon City such as in hotels, restaurants and other business establishments.

Chariman of the Committee on Parks and Environment in Quezon City, Hon. Dorothy Delarmente said hotels will no longer be allowed to distribute shampoo and soaps inside plastic sachets and single-use containers.

“Regardless how it was made or manufactured for as long as its purpose for single-use it is covered by the ordinance,” she said.

Establishments that will violate the said ordinance will face the following penalties:

1st Offense P1,000 Penalty
2nd Offense P3,000 Penalty
3rd Offense P5,000 Penalty + Revocation of Business Permit and Closure Order

Meanwhile, Malacañang hopes that other local governments will follow Quezon City’s ordinance on the single-use plastic ban.

“I suppose all local government would follow suit, since the president has already made a stand on that,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento and Rosalie Coz)

LTFRB reiterates ban on transport of pork, pork products through PUVs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reiterates that all fresh, frozen, and processed pork products and by-products like sausages and are prohibited inside all public utility vehicles (PUVs) if carrier doesn’t have the needed permits.

This ban on transport of pork and pork products through common public transport such as PUVs is in line with the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across the country.

Carriers will only be allowed to transport pork products provided they presented the necessary documents at designated Animal Quarantine Checkpoints in disease outbreak areas.

According to LTFRB, violators will be fined of up to P200,000 in accordance with Republic Act 10536 otherwise known as the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines.

DepEd urged to heighten measures vs consumption of ASF-tainted products in schools

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019

 Filipino children are seen in front of a school in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – A senator has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to heighten precautionary measures to prevent students from consuming pork products tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF) in schools.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said DepEd should exercise vigilance following reports that processed pork meats from China tested positive for ASF, as well as some skinless longganisa and hotdog products from local manufacturer, Mekeni.

“Sa mga feeding program na isinasagawa ng DepEd, halimbawa, dapat siguruhin ng ating mga guro na gumagamit sila ng mga malinis at mapagkakatiwalaang mga produktong ipakakain sa mga bata,” he said in a statement.

While ASF does not pose a threat to human health, the senator said schools should raise awareness and exhaust all sanitary measures to protect students from ASF-contaminated products.

Gatchalian also cited an advisory from the Department of Health which identified uncooked and undercooked contaminated pork as a source of ASF’s spread in swine herds.

Health authorities said the swine disease is introduced into a herd when contaminated raw pork is ingested by a pig. The virus spreads when contaminated pigs get into direct contact with other pigs.

Food waste, feed, and garbage can also cause ASF when ingested by pigs.

“Etong mga hakbang na maaari nating gawin, nagsisimula ito sa responsableng pamimili at lubos na pagluluto ng karne sa mga paaralan. Ito ay upang maiwasan natin ang pagkakasakit ng mga mag-aaral pati na rin ang pagkalat pa ng ASF,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture earlier said that the illegal importation of pork products from China was responsible for the spread of the ASF virus in the country.

Gatchalian also urged DepEd to involve parents in efforts to raise awareness on sanitary practices and preventive measures.

“While schools play an important role to protect our students’ health, it is important that we also extend our efforts at the household level. Kahit gawin ng mga paaralan ang lahat ng pwedeng gawin kung hindi naman nababantayan sa mga bahay nila, malalagay pa rin sa panganib ang ating mga estudyante,” he said.

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