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ASF spreads to 16 regions; only NCR has no cases

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
ASF spreads to 16 regions; only NCR has no cases
Customers shop for pork meat in Marikina Public Market on March 14, 2023.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — At least 16 regions in the country are now infected with African swine fever (ASF) as only Metro Manila has no cases, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Latest data from the BAI, dated March 27 showed that the first case of ASF in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was recorded after an outbreak in South Upi, Maguindanao del Sur.

The BAI also reported 12 areas in Cebu infected with ASF, with outbreaks recorded in cities of Cebu, Bogo, Carcar, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay and municipalities of Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, San Fernando, Sibonga and Tuburan.

According to BAI, aside from BARMM, regions affected by the ASF include Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa), 5 (Bicol), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 9 (Zamboanga peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao), 12 (Soccsksargen) and 13 (Caraga).

According to BAI, at least 54 provinces are infected with ASF. On the other hand, among the provinces still free from ASF are Ilocos Sur, La Union, Batanes, Quirino, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Albay, Aklan, Antique, Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental.

On Wednesday, Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia filed administrative cases before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas against BAI Director Paul Limson, Deputy Program Coordinator Samuel Joseph Castro, ASF coordinator Joshua Cruz, Dr. Miriam Lopez Vito, director of Regional the Veterinary Quarantine Station, and Dr. Daniel Ventura Jr., ASF coordinator of the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas.

Garcia accused the officials of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Local Government Code of 1991, and Articles 19, 20, and 21 of the New Civil Code for defying her orders to suspend the culling of pigs in ASF-afflicted areas.

The provincial government of Cebu accused BAI of using culling as a preventive measure, and as reason to justify the entry of more imported pork in the country.

For his part, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez maintained that the DA is following the protocol issued by the World Organization for Animal Health.

 

ASF

BAI

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