MinDA requests DILG, PNP support in enforcing ASF quarantine measures

Marje Pelayo   •   October 1, 2019   •   602

A city veterinarian (L) 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

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has sought the assistance of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in enforcing quarantine checkpoints in Mindanao.

In a letter addressed to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, MinDA Chief Secretary Manny Piñol asked for the deployment of policemen to help facilitate the strict implementation of the shipment ban on live hogs, pork and pork products in line with the intensified quarantine measures against the African Swine Fever (ASF).

“The move to engage policemen in enforcing the ban came following reports that the ASF which was earlier reported in Rizal and Bulacan Province had spread to Pangasinan because of meat traders who continued to ply their trade in spite of the outbreak,” Piñol said.

Piñol cited that policemen and army units were also utilized during the avian influenza outbreak in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in 2017.

The deployment of cops and soldiers helped the government in preventing the spread of the avian virus and was declared under control in just a period of one month.

Amid the outbreak of several provinces in Luzon, Mindanao and the Visayas remain ASF free.

This, according to Piñol, is because of “the vigilance and involvement of local government executives and the hog industry stakeholders.”

All over MindanaoDILG, POLICE SUPPORT SOUGHTTO ENFORCE ASF QUARANTINEDavao City – The Mindanao Development…

Posted by MannyPiñol on Monday, 30 September 2019

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.

70,000 pigs culled due to African Swine Fever — DA

Marje Pelayo   •   November 25, 2019

A pig in a backyard piggery is seen before culling after symptoms of African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected in the Pasong Tamo village of Quezon City, Philippines, 03 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Culling operations against further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) continues in infected areas, but according to the Department of Agriculture (DA), the number of positive cases of ASF infections has already dwindled.

So far, the Department has culled around 70,000 pigs since the outbreak of ASF started.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) clarified, however, that only 30 percent of the said number contracted the pig virus.

Majority of the culled pigs were within the one-kilometer radius from the infected site so they have to be slaughtered as per DA protocol.

“Kaya po siya dumami para maiwasan ang pagkalat, (More pigs were culled to prevent further spread of the virus,)” explained Dr. Ronnie Domingo, Director of DA-BAI.

“Pati ang mga katabi o posibleng nahawa pinapatay na din (Pigs in nearby area which possibly contracted the virus were also culled),” he added.

Domingo noted that the incidence of ASF infection in the Philippines is smaller in scope than that in Vietnam where at least 5.8 million pigs were culled.

Based on the agency’s data in previous months, ASF cases in the country are declining.

Meanwhile, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) questioned how around 7.6 million kilograms of pork from Germany slipped pass Customs’ screening despite the existing import ban.

SINAG President Rosendo So added that canned meat from ASF-infected countries were allowed entry into the Philippine market.

“[The] Bureau of Customs should explain,” So said.

One reason also why hog raisers conceal their animals from authorities is due to the delay in government’s granting of financial assistance.

“[About] 99.6 percent ng ating industriya ay hindi infected (About 99.6% of our industry is not infected),” So said.

“Pero bakit ang nangyari ay yung ibang mga backyard ay ayaw i-surrender yung mga baboy? Dahil yung DBM mahinang magrelease ng pera, (But why backyard raisers refuse to surrender their pigs? It’s because the DBM delays the release of cash assistance),” he added.

So noted that 70 of 81 provinces in the country already have regulations in place regarding the entry of pork and pork products into their respective areas from ASF-infected municipalities. — MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

ASF disinfection facility in Batangas removed for causing traffic jam

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

BATANGAS, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has put up its first automated road disinfection facility in South Luzon Expressway extension-STAR Tollway bio-security and quarantine checkpoint in Santo Tomas, Batangas early November.

The facility, which was inaugurated by Secretary William Dar himself, was established to avert the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) and to prevent the entry of other animal diseases into the province of Batangas.

But after only a week, the management of STAR Tollway decided to remove it arguing that the facility was causing heavy traffic in the area.

The toll management did not issue any official statement on the matter.

But according to Engineer Arnel de Mesa, the DA’s Regional Director for Calabarzon, they are actually looking for a larger area where they can place the facility without disrupting traffic.

“Ang alam ko lang doon sa Sto. Tomas kasi may arrangement doon sa STAR Tollway na hahanapan [ng lugar],” De Mesa said.

“Kasi noong nailagay doon, naka experience ng matinding traffic so i-mo-move doon sa area na hindi magko-cause ng matinding trapik,” he added.

Without the facility, quarantine personnel do not have any choice but to do manual disinfection of all vehicles bound for Batangas.

“This is one way of preventing the spread of any disease lalo na yung mga gulong kaya dun sa mga farm meron silang tinatawag na foot bath tsaka tire bath,” De Mesa explained.

“Karamihan kasi ng mga sakit nandiyan sa mga sapatos, nandiyan sa mga gulong, nasa mga sasakyan,” he added.

The DA is planning to install 12 automated road disinfection facilities in strategic locations across the region where most ASF infections were recorded.

“Para patuloy po ang ating bio security control measures, hindi lang para sa ASF kundi sa major economic diseases na mga alagang hayop sa Calabarzon,” he said.

Batangas, Laguna and Quezon remain ASF-free, De Mesa assured. – MNP (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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