Davao City bans entry of hogs, pork products from Luzon, neighboring provinces

Robie de Guzman   •   February 10, 2020   •   574

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Davao has announced that it is banning the entry of live hogs and pork products from Luzon, Davao Occidental, and several areas in Davao del Sur amid the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Mayor Sara Duterte said the ban, which took effect last Monday, February 3, aims to prevent the spread of the swine disease and further protect the local hog industry.

“We do not eat pork that is contaminated with ASF. Although it does not affect humans, it is not also fit for human consumption,” she said.

The move follows reports on cases of ASF infection in two barangays in Davao City – Dominga and Lamanan in Calinan District.

Local authorities said culling operations for the 2,500 pigs in the said areas have already started to prevent the disease from spreading to nearby villages.

The first case of ASF in Mindanao was reported in Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental in January, several months after an outbreak was declared in Luzon.

Duterte assured that the local government has set aside a P20 million fund to aid hog raisers affected by the ASF.

“We will check, inspect and conduct depopulation if ASF is positive and pay for your pig and piglets. Thereafter you cannot grow pigs for the next 3 months,” she said.

The mayor added that quarantine checkpoints had been set up in the city’s entry and exit points.

She also called on local pig farmers to immediately report to the city’s veterinary office should their hogs show signs of ASF, which include high fever, decreased appetite, heavy discharge from eyes and nose, and red or blotchy skin lesions. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

Davao City gov’t intercepts LSIs allegedly trying to skirt protocols vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 31, 2020

Locally-stranded individuals (LSI) allegedly attempting to enter Davao City using a different airport or via land travels to avoid cumbersome protocols against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been intercepted by the Task Force Davao (TFD), the city government said.

In a statement, the city government said that as of July 28, Tuesday, the TFD reported having intercepted a total of 175 LSIs at the city’s three major entry points – Lasang, Sirawan, and Lacson.

TFD commander Colonel Consolito Yecla said that of this figure, at least 87 were residents of Davao City while the remaining 88 were just passing by for their destination provinces.

“Those who are residents of the city were escorted to the testing center for their swab tests while the non-residents were escorted toward the boundaries,” he said.

“We escorted them to the boundaries to ensure that they will not make a stop in the city, we treat everyone as a carrier so it will be vital if they make a stop,” he added.

On Wednesday the TFD also intercepted a person who failed the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) in Trento, Agusan del Sur.

The patient was immediately brought to the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC).

Some LSIs are allegedly trying to skirt an earlier order of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, requiring those entering the city to provide negative results of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) taken at least 72 hours before boarding their flights.

The order was later modified and testing is now being done as plane passengers leave the Davao International Airport.

Contract tracing was among the main issues in the past when LSIs tested positive for the disease.

With the exit testing, contact tracing will now be easier, the city government said.

Davao City offers free RT-PCR test for passengers arriving at Davao airport

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2020

Air passengers bound for Davao City now have two options to comply with the requirement to present their 72-hour negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result prior to boarding their flight, the city government said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the local government said that passengers may now opt to take the RT-PCR test at the airport or their place of origin at their own cost.

They may also choose to take a free RT-PCR test at the Davao International Airport and prepare to wait inside a holding facility for the results for 24 hours to 48 hours.

The new options were presented after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s meeting with the members of the National Task Force for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday night.

Last week, Duterte announced that all Davao-bound air passengers will be required to show negative RT PCR test results taken 24 hours to 72 hours before their date of departure.

The free testing service is offered to utilize the P6 Million Bayanihan Grant allocated for RT-PCR testing for a private Covid-19 facility at the Davao airport. 

“As approved during the meeting, the requirement of a negative RT-PCR result taken within 24 to 72 hours from departure date shall not be mandatory upon check-in at the airport of origin but shall be required upon exit at the Davao International Airport (DIA),” the mayor said.

All those who were tested at their places of origin within 24 to 72 hours of departure date but have not received their result shall not be allowed to exit the Davao airport until their test result is available, the city government said.

“We ensure that travellers who enter the city are negative, they just proceed with home quarantine. Dili na sad ta mag gukod sa contact tracing (so we would not go after people for contact tracing) since they do not have close contact,” Duterte said. 

In a letter dated July 21 addressed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, Mayor Sara also laid a modified set of guidelines for passengers entering Davao Airport. 

Mayor Sara also sought the help of DOTr to request airlines to deplane all those with a negative RT-PCR test result first, followed by all those without their RT-PCR test result to ensure a safe and orderly exit out of the airport.

The city government will also accept a negative RT-PCR result taken within 24 to 72 hours from the domestic departure date conducted by a laboratory overseas for an international flight passenger, provided that all results written in a foreign language must have an English translation.

Children 12 years old and below are exempted from the RT-PCR requirement, provided that the accompanying adult passenger has a negative RT-PCR result.

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Davao City’s negative RT-PCR requirement for air passengers adjusted to 72 hours

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Davao City government said it has amended its requirement of a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result for passengers bound for the city.

In a statement on Monday, the city government said Davao-bound passengers can now submit upon check-in at any airport of origin a negative RT-PCR taken 72 hours before their date  of departure.

It said that the move is in response to an appeal from the national government to give travelers enough time to have themselves tested for the viral novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government will send a letter to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines amending the requirement from 24 to 48 hours to 24 to 72 hours negative RT-PCR result before their departure date.

Davao City had earlier required Davao-bound passengers to submit upon check-in at any airport of origin a negative RT PCR result taken 48 hours before the departure date.

It is one of the city’s measures to control the transmission of the coronavirus infection. 

“The city government was prompted to require a negative RT-PCR  after the data from the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit showed that the highest confirmed Covid-19 cases in Davao City were travelers from Manila,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Cebu Pacific airline company reminded Davao-bound passengers to submit their tests as required, adding that those who will fail to present their RT-PCR test results will not be allowed to board the flight.

The airliner also said that a rapid test kit result “is not acceptable.”

Passenger bound for Davao City will also have to provide their complete addresses prior to travel date and that giving inaccurate information or incomplete requirements may result in denied boarding of the flight, it further said.

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