An African Swine Flu quarantine checkpoint along a highway in North Cotabato province in Region 12.
Philstar.com/John Unson
Duterte tells DA to come out with protocol vs African Swine Fever
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - February 26, 2020 - 10:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the agriculture department to set a protocol to prevent the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Duterte issued the directive during his meeting with Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and local officials on Tuesday at Malacañang.

"I asked the secretary of agriculture to come up with a protocol (on) how to control, for example, if (the meat) is transported, those who are declared free of the swine flu should be marked so they can travel," the  president told reporters Wednesday.

Local government units have inspection units to check meat quality.

The Department of Agriculture, since last August, has also required meat vendors in the country to display their meat certificates or have the products confiscated. The certificates must be issued by DA-attached agency National Meat Inspection Service.

Duterte said concerns over the ASF have impeded the movement of pork meat.

"Others were not allowed to move. They do not allow the cargoes of the pork meat to pass the highway, traverse the local government units. That would be a mess. If the meat contains marks, (it should be allowed to move)," he added.

Ifugao Gov. Jerry Dalipog on Wednesday recommended that the province be placed under a state of emergency as the African Swine Fever has entered the province despite a lockdown.

The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) confirmed the presence of the virus in at least five towns —  Banaue, Kiangan, Lagawe, Asipulo and Hingyon.

Ifugao Provincial Veterinarian James Gopeng said they have already culled at least 160 heads from the affected towns —  74 in Kingan, 40 in Lagawe, eight in Asipulo and more than 40 in Banaue.

Gopeng said more pigs are expected to be culled in the next few days.

The Philippines reported its first case of ASF in September 2019.

Duterte has ordered local government units and national government agencies to strictly enforce a national zoning plan to contain the hog virus.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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