Nueva Ecija culls 207 pigs over suspected hog virus

Marje Pelayo   •   October 17, 2019   •   1661

NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – The Cabanatuan City Provincial Veterinary Office culled a total of 207 pigs following reports of hog deaths in Barangay Dalampang, suspected to have been caused by African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Nangangamatay iyong aming baboy ngayon. Kinuhanan nila ng blood sample at iyong iba namang mga baboy na nangamatay ay ipinalibing namin (Several pigs have died in our place. Blood samples were taken from some of them, while we buried the others),” said Amang Soriano, the head of Barangay Dalampang.

Because of the incident, the PVO advised residents, especially hog raisers in the area, to immediately report cases of pig deaths so that prompt measures can be taken.

The PVO added that they are being extra cautious because it is the season for increased incidence of vector-borne diseases among livestock.

“Maaraw eh, expect mo na sa stress, marami mamamatay ( It’s been warm lately so expect that stress level would be higher which might result in more deaths),” explained Dr. Jun Romero, head of Nueva Ecija Provincial Veterinary Office.

“Marami kaming kinunan na sample. Akala namin ay suspected na (African Swine Fever). Nag-negative naman sa laboratory (We took samples from several pigs because we suspected it was African Swine Fever. Laboratory tests turned negative),” he added.

The provincial veterinary office is waiting for the result of the laboratory tests conducted on the pig blood samples.

If the result turns out positive for ASF, Romero assured they will impose the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the deadly pig virus.

Hog raisers assured, likewise, that they will abide by the protocol should the tests return positive.

“Kami po talagang sumusunod doon sa patakaran ng ating gobyerno na kung saka-sakaling may mga sakit na gumagala sa aming barangay (We really abide by the government regulations, more so if pig virus is present in our barangay,)” noted hog raisers Miguel Ramos. MNP (with details from Danny Munar)

Hontiveros urges DA to focus on ramping up efforts vs ASF instead of price caps

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Risa Hontiveros has urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to focus its efforts on preventing the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) instead of imposing price ceilings.

“The government should instead channel its efforts to bring credibility to testing, reporting, and responding to local outbreaks, among others. Hindi na nakakatulong ang ipinataw nilang price control (imposing price control is not helping), so let’s look deeper than the surface,” the senator said.

Hontiveros noted that the DA is already boosting local hog supply by distributing mother pigs and feeds to ASF-cleared areas, however, hog raisers still fear subsequent waves of infection.

Instead of repopulation plans, Hontiveros said the DA should also teach hog raisers preventive measures to protect livestock from ASF. She added that the price cap is making it almost impossible for vendors to recover from the “twindemic” of COVID-19 and ASF.

“Nakararanas tayo ng ‘Twindemic’ —pandemya ng COVID-19 at epidemya ng ASF. Kambal din ang dagok sa ating magbababoy na nalubog pa dahil sa itinakdang price ceiling (We are experiencing a ‘Twindemic’—COVID-19 pandemic and the ASF epidemic. Our hog raisers are also experiencing twin challenges due to the price ceiling),” the senator said.

Hontiveros also proposed to revoke the imposed price ceiling to help affected producers and retailers recover from their losses.

“Dumadaing na ang ating producers at retailers. Ilang eksperto na ang tumutol sa pagpapatupad ng price ceiling. Bawiin na sana ito para makabawi naman sa lugi ang ating mga kababayan (Our producers and retailers are complaining. Several experts have already expressed opposition to implementation of a price ceiling. It should be revoked for the sake of our fellowmen),” she added. AAC 

Duterte approves review on pork importation expansion

Marje Pelayo   •   February 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s pork supply has been greatly affected by the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) resulting in skyrocketing prices of pork products hitting even higher than P400 per kilogram. 

To address the problem, the Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to study some measures to expand the minimum access volume (MAV) on pork imports.

The MAV pertains to the allowable volume of agricultural products that may be imported with low tariff. At present, the MAV for pork is only 54,000 metric tons.

This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to approve the recommendation to conduct more study and find other ways to expand the MAV.

“Now, as for the projections of pork supplies for this year, the Department of Agriculture estimates that with a demand of 1,618,355 metric tons and the projections of the 2021 supplies, we will need to begin the process of reviewing the MAV,” Nograles said,

In the meantime, more pork is being transported to Metro Manila from Visayas and Mindanao.

“Pinag-aaralan na po natin yan, at alam naman po natin ang proseso. Ang presidente ang mag-authorize niyan, and Congress will be given 15 days to concur with the decision. Pero tinitingnan po natin muna kung sapat ang suplay galing sa Visayas at Mindanao at ibang parte ng Luzon,” Nograles noted.

Also, the Chief Executive has approved the creation of a sub-task group on economic intelligence to deal with smugglers, profiteers and hoarders of agriculture products.

The group will be led by the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Kung mayroong mga grupo o negosyante na pinagsasamantalahan ang pandemya para pagkakitaan ang taumbayan, hindi po ito palalampasin,” Nograles concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DILG tells LGUs to ensure local hogs entry ban aligned with national ASF zoning plan

Robie de Guzman   •   February 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGU) to ensure that their executive orders imposing a ban on the entry of hogs and other related products are consistent with national policies and directives.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said executive orders issued by LGUs to protect communities against the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF) should not impede the flow of cargoes across boundaries,

“Although the conscientious efforts of LGUs to mitigate the spread of the ASF in their respective jurisdictions are needed, they still have to ensure that their local policies and directive are aligned and consistent with those of the national government,” Malaya said in a statement issued on Sunday.

He said LGUs must coordinate their actions with the Department of Agriculture (DA) field offices for consistency with the ASF zoning classification system.

The DA’s zoning plan identifies two ASF zone classifications: the containment zone where concerted activities are implemented to contain ASF and isolate the ASF disease towards full eradication, and the free zone which is the geographical limit that remains free from the ASF virus.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2021-00, LGUs are urged to conduct an immediate review of their executive orders and align their objectives, without delay, with presidential and national issuances on the prevention and control of ASF.

LGUs must also strictly follow the nationwide policy on the unhampered flow of cargoes stipulated in Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Resolution No. 14, and Presidential Administrative Order No. 22, series of 2020 to mitigate the ASF in the country amid the pandemic.

The DILG said that failure on the part of the LGU to comply with these directives would lead to reprimand and/or issuance of show cause orders, and repeated breaches of those directives may lead to appropriate charges being brought against the local chief executive.

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