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Quarantine group relieved for failure to institute protocol vs. African Swine Fever

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 4 January 2019 10:03 AM


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on his social media account announced that the entire Quarantine group at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be relieved from their posts effective Friday (January 4).

Piñol said such order was made because of the group’s failure to comply with his earlier directive “to institute Quarantine protocols to prevent the entry of pork products from areas affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF).”


DA-BAI employees with their prepared disinfection mat before the disembarkation of passengers in Region 12 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Animal Industry via Manny Piñol Facebook account

Secretary Piñol said he ordered “all Quarantine Stations to establish footbaths in all entry points of the country for the interception and confiscation of all pork-based products” because of the threat of ASF that was monitored by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as early as last year.

The Philippines, meanwhile, has already established a plan of action to prevent the entry of the disease into the country.

ASF is a viral disease that has been killing pigs in at least eight countries at present.

China has already reported an outbreak of the deadly disease as it has infested huge pig farms in the country.

Secretary Piñol added that he will also direct the Department of Agriculture (DA) Internal Administrative Service (IAS) “to conduct an investigation and establish whether the officers could be charged with dereliction of duty.”


DA-BAI employee showing his disinfection mat | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Animal Industry via Manny Piñol Facebook account

“The relief of the whole Quarantine Team at the NAIA should send a clear message to members of the Department of Agriculture (DA) family that we cannot take Administrative Directives for granted,” the Secretary said. – Marje Pelayo

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PAL to transfer int’l flights

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 01:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Airlines (PAL) will transfer some of its international flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 beginning March 31.

According to PAL’s statement on Tuesday, “All flights from New York (JFK), Auckland (New Zealand), Hanoi (Vietnam) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) will use NAIA Terminal 1 for both departures and arrivals.”

The updated list of PAL flights departing from / arriving at NAIA Terminal 1 starting from March 31, 2019, onwards are:

  • PR 218 / 219 Manila – Auckland – Manila
  • PR 126 / 127 Manila – New York JFK – Manila
  • PR 118 / 119 Manila – Toronto – Manila
  • PR 116/ 117 Manila – Vancouver – Manila
  • PR 595 / 596 Manila – Hanoi – Manila
  • PR 521 / 522 Manila – Phnom Penh – Manila
  • PR 682 / 683 Manila – Dammam – Manila
  • PR 684/ 685 Manila – Doha – Manila
  • PR 654 / 655 Manila – Riyadh – Manila

The airline said these adjustments aim to minimize passenger congestion at the said NAIA terminals.

“PAL assures the public that these operational adjustments are being carried out to help minimize passenger congestion at the concerned NAIA terminals, and thus to improve service for our valued customers,” PAL said.—Aileen Cerrudo

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PH bans pork imports from Japan due to ASF

by admin   |   Posted on Sunday, 10 February 2019 05:47 PM

FILE PHOTO: Pork meat being sold at a wet market

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered an immediate ban on the entry of pork and other pork products from Japan following reports that African swine fever (ASF) “is increasingly likely to spread” in said country.

At 12 noon on Sunday (February 10) Piñol alerted the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) about the ban through Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano after receiving a link to a news article published by The Japan News confirming seven cases of ASF in Japan from October of last year through January “where pork containing the ASF virus gene was found at domestic airports.”

Piñol said the imposition of the temporary ban against the entry of pork and pork products from Japan will be in effect while quarantine officials are validating the reports with the World Animal Health Organisation.

Quarantine officers in ports of entry across the country are directed to implement the directive immediately and are advised to “review Quarantine Protocols, including the foot baths installed at the Ports of Entry and the monitoring of all meat products being brought into the country by tourists.” — UNTV News and Rescue

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Filipinos urged to buy local pork products amid fears of African Swine Fever

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 4 January 2019 02:45 PM


MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol appeals to the public to patronize local pork and pork-based products amid the dangers of African Swine Fever (ASF) that is currently affecting large pig farms not only in China but in other countries across the globe.

“The world hog industry is faced with a threat by a disease called the African Swine Fever,” the Secretary said on his social media account.

“I am appealing to consumers to buy pork and pork-based products produced by local farmers. This will be the first time I will make this appeal to Filipino consumers, meat importers, government policy makers and agriculture stakeholders because we are facing a grave danger which could destroy the Philippine livestock industry,” he added.

In August 2018, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has imposed a ban on the entry of pork and pork-based products from at least 13 countries:

  1. Belgium
  2. Bulgaria
  3. China
  4. Czec Republic
  5. Hungary
  6. Latvia
  7. Moldova
  8. Poland
  9. Romania
  10. Russia
  11. South Africa
  12. Ukraine
  13. Zambia

Secretary Piñol also asked returning residents and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), especially those from countries affected by the ASF “not to bring in pork or pork-based products including ham, bacon and others.”

On Friday (January 4), the Agriculture Secretary sacked the entire Quarantine team at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for not instituting his order to install footbaths due to procurement issues.

“Halimbawa nakapasok. Anong impact noon? Sisirain natin ang buong industriya simply because sasabihin mo sa akin na “Wala pa po kasi kaming procurement”. Napakadali namang gawin iyon na gaumawa ka lang ng basang sako diyan ilagay mo diyan sa (sahig) pwede na,” he argued.

According to www.pigprogess.net, a key source of information for pig and pork production industry in the world, ASF has so far infected one of the largest pig farms in China located in northern Heilongjiang province, a facility that houses 73,654 pigs.

Screenshot from Pig Progress website

The website explains that African Swine Fever virus is “one of the most important diseases of pigs and the identification of the disease in a country normally results in the suspension of exports of pigs and pig products.”

It is highly contagious and the infection spreads rapidly from pig to pig usually from infected discharges and feces as well as by the consumption of infected meat.

The disease is “extremely resistant to putrefaction and sunlight, and can persist in refrigerated meat and carcasses for up to 6 months and for much longer when frozen.”

The effect of the disease on human health is still unknown. – Marje Pelayo




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