Hog raisers in Mindanao want quarantine wall vs ASF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 19, 2019   •   674

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers in Mindanao are recommending the establishment of a quarantine wall to block the entry of the African Swine Fever (AFS) virus in the region.

During the first Mindanao Hog raisers Forum held in Davao City on Wednesday (Sept 18), Mindanao Development Authority chairman Manny Piñol said stakeholders are proposing that the island have its own quarantine cluster separate from other main islands in the country.

This is to protect Mindanao’s hog industry from the possible entry of pork meats and other pork products from Luzon and Visayas areas reported to have been hit by the ASF.

The areas with confirmed cases of ASF were Rizal and Bulacan.

“Recommendation of the stakeholders yesterday was to set up a quarantine wall to protect Mindanao from ASF entry. At saka wala namang masyadong problema kasi net exporter (they produce in excess) ang Mindanao ng mga meat products eh, ng pork,” he said.

Piñol, a former agriculture secretary, said if the proposal will be granted, areas with critical point of entries such as General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga and Surigao del Norte will be strictly monitored for the possible entry of meat products.

The monitoring will include international sea ports and roll-on/roll-off seacrafts.

Piñol said he has been pushing for this measure since the avian (bird) flu outbreak that previously hit parts of Luzon.

“I think every region affected as of the moment should also do that. Even Visayas should do that,” he said.

Aside from putting up a quarantine wall, Piñol said he will also sign an order to temporarily prohibit swill feeding in hog farms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mai Bermudez)

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.

BSP grants regulatory relief for banks affected by ASF, COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 27, 2020

BANGKO SENTRAL

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will grant regulatory relief to banks and quasi banks (QBs) that sustained losses due to their clients being affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We believe that the grant of regulatory and rediscounting relief measures is also applicable to financial institutions whose clients have suffered from adverse effects of these crises,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said.

The temporary regulatory relief includes grace periods for rediscounting loans, staggered booking of allowance for credit losses, non-imposition of penalties on legal reserve deficiencies, and non-recognition of certain defaulted accounts as past due.

Diokno said the BSP recognizes the potentially crippling impact of the said events on key industries, which include the tourism industry.

“The BSP’s initial assessment points to a potential dampening impact on the Philippine economy in the near term mainly through disruptions to tourism and associated services,” he said.

The House of Representatives is already tackling the issue on how to compensate for the tourism losses due to the implemented travel ban prompted by the COVID-19 threat.—AAC

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