DA to probe how ASF reached Davao Occidental

Maris Federez   •   February 4, 2020   •   747

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to conduct an investigation that will trace how the African Swine Fever (ASF) reached the province of Davao Occidental.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that Davao Occidental is an isolated location and it seemed very unlikely that the deadly swine disease could reach the province.

“If you know Davao Occidental, it’s such in an isolated coastal area. You cannot understand why the virus proceeded there […] So the theories are being investigated,” Dar said.

From the swine population of 13,000 in the town of Don Marcelino, 1,000 have either died or were slaughtered due to the disease.

Dar said the provincial government will buy the rest of the swine that are not yet affected by the virus to prevent it from spreading further.

Aside from Don Marcelino, the DA is also monitoring the nearby town of Malita.

“Kung hindi maganda ang pagka depopulate, the chances of the virus escaping from that ground zero to new outbreak areas within Don Marcelino will be there,” the DA chief said.

According to the DA, around 200,000 pigs had either died or had been killed due to the spread of the ASF in Luzon.

The DA admitted that the ASF was not completely stopped and this is because of pork smuggling, procurement of infected pigs by traders, and failure to report about infected pigs to authorities.

Ang Pilipino masyadong smart. Mag-declare ng iba’t-ibang product hindi naman pala tomato paste or vermicelli. That’s the trend, it continues up until today. Nasa loob-looban yung karneng baboy, pork products and the like,” Dar said.

To assist hog-raisers in Don Marcelino which is now placed under a state of calamity, the DA said it will pay up to P5,000 per pig within the 1-kilometer radius from the area where the ASF was discovered.

A loan of P30,000 per hog raiser is also available to help them recover from their loss. —(from the report of Rey Pelayo) /mbmf

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)

DA eyes transporting pork products from Mindanao to stabilize supply, prices

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is planning to transport surplus pork products in Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon to help stabilize the supply and prices of pork in Metro Manila and other areas.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said they are looking at an initial volume of 1,700 metric tons (MT) of pork from Davao and General Santos City that are available for immediate transport to Visayas and Luzon.

Dar said they are now coordinating with hog raisers in Mindanao regarding the matter.

“This is a welcome development as relayed by DA Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña, who was tasked to coordinate with hog raisers and logistics providers in Mindanao to bring surplus pork to where it is most needed in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon and Visayas,” the DA chief said.

Laviña said hog raisers in Davao have committed to ship their surplus pork at 500 MT a month, while those in General Santos and Cagayan de Oro could ship 3,000 MT monthly.

“However, we are confronted with a few challenges in transporting frozen pork, including other food and fishery products, from Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon, but we are addressing them swiftly in direct consultation with concerned local government units,” Dar said.

The DA chief did not specify the challenges he mentioned but he emphasized the agency’s advocacy for the unhampered movement of pork due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

He also assured that pork products from Mindanao are of good quality and are free from African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We continue to strictly enforce the biosecurity and quarantine measures to effectively manage, contain and control ASF, and prevent it from spreading to Visayas and Mindanao that are free from the dreaded swine disease,” Dar said.

The DA chief likewise reiterated that the country has enough supply of pork for the second and third quarters of 2020.

However, the country is forecasted to have a pork deficit by the end of the year.

“Right now our pork sufficiency is 93 percent, as we forecast a deficit by the end of the year, at 31 days,” he said.

“In lieu of pork, we enjoin consumers to shift to other protein sources like chicken, as we have an abundant supply of up to 233 days or till August 2021,” Dar said.

He also called on local government units in Luzon to consider buying chicken and eggs, and other produce to help local farmers, fishers, and poultry raisers.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to help farmers and fishers by buying directly from them, and selling their produce — like palay, corn, vegetables, fruits, hogs and chickens, and fish, among others — at affordable prices to consumers through regular outlets like Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita,” he said.

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