QC gov’t starts culling of pigs after samples test positive for African Swine Fever
Marje Pelayo • September 16, 2019 • 732
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)
The Quezon City government on Wednesday announced it has launched a nighttime vaccination program, which will open at 6 p.m. or after working hours to accommodate employees who cannot take time off from work or visit a vaccination site during the day.
In a statement, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the vaccination program, dubbed “QC Bakuna Nights,” aims to expand the reach of the city and immunize workers whose only free time is in the evening.
“Para ito sa mga manggagawa natin na hindi naman makaliban sa kanilang trabaho para makapagpabakuna sa karaniwang oras na 8am-5pm. Lalo na ‘yung mga arawan ang sahod,” Belmonte said.
“Ngayon, hindi na nila kailangang mamili kung arawang kita ba muna o bakuna. We will inoculate them at a time most convenient to them,” she added.
The city government also said on Wednesday that for the first time, around 2,000 pre-registered frontline personnel under the A4 category will be inoculated at the Quezon City Hall Grounds.
The Quezon City government on Wednesday said it is “seriously considering” terminating its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corporation, the firm behind eZConsult, after some residents complained of difficulty booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said she has issued an ultimatum to Zuellig Pharma Corporation to upgrade its system and provide all the deliverables by Friday, June 18, as agreed in a meeting held last week.
“If not, we have no other choice but to contract another company that can do the job quickly and efficiently,” Belmonte said in a statement.
Belmonte made the pronouncement after residents reported problems in accessing eZConsult services since March 27.
“Kaya natin kinuha ang serbisyo ng eZConsult ay para mapadali ang proseso ng pagpapatala ngunit ano ang gagawin natin kung ang sistema nila mismo ang ugat ng problema,” she said.
“We have already improved our system in vaccination centers where people no longer have to fall in line and go through the entire vaccination process within a maximum of 45 mins. Dapat kahit virtual pila wala din sa QC as long as vaccine supply is stable. Yet eZconsult is putting all our efforts down the drain,” she added.
In addition to terminating its deal with Zuellig, the Quezon City government is also mulling suing the company for damages if it fails to meet its contractual obligations to the local government by Friday.
The local government said City Attorney Orlando Casimiro already wrote Zuellig Pharma Corporation, through its general manager Danilo Cahoy, demanding liquidated damages in connection with the technical failures of eZConsult.
“If the improvements promised to the city are not honored as is contained in the contract, we will initiate contract termination proceedings and file appropriate charges against them as deemed appropriate by our city legal counsel to enforce and protect our rights and the interests of QCitizens,” Belmonte said.
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