P15-M worth of onions rot in Nueva Ecija storage facility

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 7, 2019   •   2542

Rotten…not rotten.

Instead of counting earnings from their harvest, several farmers in a number of warehouses in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija count what’s left of their produce to sell after more than 30,000 bags of red and white onions had rotted in some cold storage facilities.

Rotten, not rotten—they segregate. They were supposed to sell them this August but to their dismay, they found most of the onions kept in the storage are already spoiled.

Around P15 million market value was lost due to the incident.

Jayson Leonardo from the Bongabon Municipal Agriculture Office speculates that the onions may have had defects even before they were put in storage.

“Una po iyong quality ng sibuyas sakto po ba iyong maturity ng ating sibuyas. Then noong ipinasok po ba ay wala po bang prevalence ng sakit ng fungi atsaka po siguro pwede rin natin i-consider iyong quality po ng storage na pinapasukan (First would be the quality of the onions. Were they matured enough? When they were put it in storage, were there no prevalence of fungi? We can also consider the quality of the storage itself),” he said.

There is also a possibility, Leonardo added, that traders kept the onions inside cold storage facilities for too long to increase its value.

Affected farmers and traders sought aid from the Department of Agriculture (DA) due to the huge losses they sustained from the rotten onions.

“Talagang sobrang lugi na po iyong mga traders ng sibuyas at sigurado po ang maaapektuhan dito ay mga farmers. Halos sa ngayon wala nang puhunan, hindi po nababalik ang puhunan ng mga traders sa mga nag-stock o naglagay po sa storage (The onion traders really had huge losses and this affects the farmers. There is almost no profit, there’s no return of investment for the traders who put stocks in the storage),” Gregorio Pessa said, one of the traders.

This is the second time that an incident involving spoiled onions in cold storage facilities had occurred since 2002.

The UNTV news team in Nueva Ecija asked the cold storage management for a comment but they refused.

The management said they have already submitted a report to the Bureau of Plants and Industry (BPI) about the incident. —AAC (with reports from Danny Munar)

ERRATUM: A previous version of this article stated that the cold storage facilities were located in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. For clarification, the facilities are located in Palayan City.

State of calamity declared in Davao Occidental town due to African Swine Fever

Robie de Guzman   •   February 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The town of Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental has declared a state of calamity after samples from 1,000 dead pigs yielded positive results for African Swine Fever (ASF).

The Municipal Agriculture Office on Monday confirmed that the town has been placed under a state of calamity on Sunday after authorities found that hundreds of pigs from eight of its villages were infected with ASF.

A memorandum issued by the local government identified these areas as Barangays Lindasan, North Lamidan, South Lamidan, Calian, Mabuhay, Lawa, Nueva Villa and Baluntayan.

In view of this, local authorities have activated the Regional Animal Disease Task Force to contain the swine disease.

Since the town has been placed on lockdown, the moving of hogs in and out of Don Marcelino, as well as selling of pork meat and other processed pork products will also be prohibited.

Quarantine checkpoints at the entry and exit points of the municipality were also ordered established.

Authorities said the investigation is still ongoing on how the swine disease from Luzon reached Davao Occidental. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

PH bans poultry meat from Poland

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities announced an import ban on poultry meat coming from Poland based on a memorandum order issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) dated January 21.

The ban covers the importation of all domesticated and wild birds even eggs and sperm from Polish chickens.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported an outbreak of bird flu or avian influenza with a subtype of H5N8 in Poland today.

“Gusto natin na ma-maintain natin sa free tayo,” explained BAI Director Ronnie Domingo.

“Ang posible lang na makapasok ay ang migratory birds or ang mga importation natin ng poultry coming from other countries. Kaya pagka ganyan na may report na sa ibang bansa, stop na,” he said.

BAI also noted an outbreak of bird flu from April to September 2017 in several municipalities in Central Luzon which impacted several farms in the region.

Thousands of fowls were culled to curb the spread of the disease.

But Domingo clarified that since the mid of 2018, the Philippines reported it has controlled the virus and eventually declared the country bird-flu free to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

A total of five countries were recommended to issue an import ban but it was Poland which the DA approved first, Domingo concluded. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Nueva Ecija culls over 500 pigs for suspected ASF

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – The Municipal Agriculture office has culled more than 500 pigs on Friday (December 13).

This, following reports from residents in Barangay Luyos, in the town of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija that several pigs in the area died last week.

Backyard hog raisers voluntarily submitted their animals to culling in fear of African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Natakot kami na baka kami madamay (We were afraid of getting affected),” said hog raiser Rowena Liamson.

“Kaysa kami po ang magbaon, wala naman po kaming malalaking bakuran na pagbabaunan kaya nag voluntary surrender na lang po kami (So instead of burying the pigs by ourselves, we chose to voluntarily surrender them as we have no available lot space for a pit),” she explained.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will pay each hog raiser P5,000 for each culled pig so that they could at least recover from their losses.

Based on record of the Municipal Agriculture Office, they are set to depopulate around 1,200 pigs in Barangays Mariano, Julo and Luyos in the coming days.

Authorities call on residents to immediately report to them any case of pig sickness and death so they could act accordingly and eventually prevent the spread of the deadly hog disease. – MNP (With details from Danny Munar)

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