QC gov’t starts culling of pigs after samples test positive for African Swine Fever

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2019   •   140

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The city government has begun culling operations within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero or the location where pigs positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) were discovered.

So far, a total of 50 pigs have been culled.

According to Mayor Joy Belmonte, they have taken several samples from live and dead subjects of which 14 tested positive for ASF in Barangay Bagong Silangan.

Belmonte clarified that the tested animals were not among those discovered floating in a creek which were of unknown origin.

The Mayor stressed that backyard hog raising is not allowed in the city as they have no agricultural land and they have ordered a phase out of backyard hog raising even before reports of ASF surfaced.

“Nagbigay na ako ng order na maaga pa lang mag-phaseout na sila, (Even before, I have ordered them to phase out their pigs),” she said.

“Within 6 months actually that was the time period that I gave para mabigyan din naman sila ng pagkakataon to get back yung puhunan nila doon sa kanilang inaalagaang baboy, (to give them time to get back what they have spent for the pigs they were raising,)” she added.

The city government is confident of immediately addressing the issue following the result of the tests in collaboration with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Mayor Belmonte also responded to the issue regarding premature announcement of the tests relative to ASF.

“I take the stand na siyempre local government official tayo. (I take the stand as a local government official). May responsibilidad and obligation tayo sa ating mga mamamayan, hindi pwede yung wait ang see pa, (I have the responsibility and obligation to our constituents, we cannot just wait and see),” she noted.

“Kung kalusugan na ang pinaguusapan natin, (When it comes to health) I would like to protect our citizens, ang mga existing na mga baboy pa na para hindi sila mainfect, (as well as the existing (living) hogs that are not yet infected,)” she concluded. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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)

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)

4 suspected robbers killed in QC shootout

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Four suspects in a robbery incident were killed in a shootout with police in Payatas Road, Quezon City early Tuesday morning.

According to the Batasan Police Station, they were patrolling the area at around 3 a.m. when they received a report about a robbery incident in a convenience store and gasoline station involving the suspects.

Responding police officers engaged the suspects in a brief gunfight that led to the death of the purported robbers.

Prior to the encounter, workers at the gasoline station said the four suspects, wearing black masks and helmets, arrived in the area on board two motorcycles and declared a hold-up.

“Hinawakan po ako sa leeg tapos pinadapa po ako. Tapos kinuha na po ang pera ng company tapos kasama yung cellphone,” recounted Elmer Boduan, who works as a cashier at the gasoline station.

While two of the suspects were robbing the gasoline station, their two other cohorts entered the convenience store, pulled a gun at its workers and forcibly took the money from the cash register and a mobile phone.  

“May dalang baril po yung lalaki papunta sa akin. Tumakbo ako. Tumago ako. Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Labas ka diyan. Buksan mo y’ong kaha ninyo,’” said Vanessa Epis, the store’s cashier.

The alleged robbers then fled with at least P19,000 in cash and two mobile phones.

Their escape, however, turned into a chase after police officers spotted and pursued them along Payatas Road.

The suspects allegedly opened fire but police retaliated and gunned them down.

Recovered from the scene were four .38 caliber revolver, two motorcycles, one mobile phone, a digital weighing scale and four sachets of suspected shabu.

Police said the slain suspects are yet to be identified. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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