PCG Central Visayas to use sniffing dogs to detect pork, pork products

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2019   •   163

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Central Visayas will use sniffing dogs to detect pork and pork products in the various ports in the region.

This is in response to the executive order of the Cebu provincial government which temporarily bans live hogs, pork, and pork products in the province.

The said ban aims to protect the region from the threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

The PCG Central Visayas will deploy sniffing dogs in ports including a golden retriever named ‘Poochie’ who is the first pork-detecting dog. Poochie can detect frozen, raw, processed, and canned meat.

According to PCG Central Visayas Spokesperson Lt. Junior Grade Michael Encina, they want to fill the gap in the detection capability of the PCG.

“We all know for the fact that Cebu is known for lechon and it’s not only the economic side ang maaapektuhan (that will be affected) but as well as the tourism factor. So isa rin po ito sa tinitingnang anggulo ng PCG (So that is also one of the angles the PCG is looking into),” he said.

“This capability ng ating Coastguard Central Visayas is to address iyong need natin for detection ng all pork or pork-related products coming here in the province of Cebu (This capability of our Coastguard Central Visayas is to address our need to detect all pork or pork-related products coming here in the province of Cebu),” Encina added.

Meanwhile, the PCG will train 30 more dogs which will aid in detecting pork and pork products. —AAC (with reports from Gladys Toabi)

Nueva Ecija culls 207 pigs over suspected hog virus

Marje Pelayo   •   October 17, 2019

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)

PNP firearms head De Leon is new PRO-7 chief

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2019

Police Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon

MANILA, Philippines – Police Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon is the new chief of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

PNP spokesperson Bernard Banac said De Leon will formally assume the post on Thursday, Oct. 17.

A turnover ceremony, to be witnessed by PNP Officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, will be held in Cebu City.

De Leon will replace Brigadier General Debold Sinas who has been designated as the new director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

He is the current head of the PNP Firearms Explosives Office (FEO) and a member of the Philippine Military Academy Makatao Class of 1989.

PNP-FEO’s deputy commander Col. Westrimundo Obinque will take over De Leon’s post until the PNP has appointed the unit’s next chief. – RRD (with details from Lea Ylagan)

DILG to ask LGUs to lift entry ban on pork products from Luzon

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to issue a memorandum circular to encourage local government units (LGUs) to lift their respective bans on entry of pork products coming from Luzon.

The LGUs imposed their own measures to prohibit the entry of pork products in their area in protection against the further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the DA requested them to allow meat processors to transport their products provided that their products are properly documented, properly processed, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Incorporated (PAMPI) argued that so far, 56 provinces have existing import ban on pork and pork items from the Luzon region.

The group added that the meat processing industry would suffer P55-B loss in profit every year should the local governments not heed lifting the import ban.

PAMPI assured that its products are safe for public consumption, therefore, they are confident that they will not cause the spread of the ASF virus. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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