Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he ordered quarantine officers and the Philippine National Police to track down the OFW who brought 32 cans of Ma Ling, a brand of luncheon meat, from Hong Kong.
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DA to track down African swine fever quarantine violator
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - May 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to investigate and track down an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who brought meat products from Hong Kong into the country, violating the government’s quarantine measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF), an official said yesterday.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he ordered quarantine officers and the Philippine National Police to track down the OFW who brought 32 cans of Ma Ling, a brand of luncheon meat, from Hong Kong.

The Bureau of Customs confiscated the canned meat products. The OFW went to radio broadcaster Raffy Tulfo to complain and the products were returned to the OFW.

“What happened was a serious violation of our quarantine laws and I will have to order an investigation. We are on guard against the entry of pork and pork processed products from several countries, including China and Hong Kong, because of the outbreak of the ASF,” Piñol said.

ASF, which has no cure or vaccines, could potentially wipe out the P270-billion hog industry in the country.

Tulfo said there are cans of Ma Ling sold in local supermarkets, but Piñol explained these products could have been imported before the DA issued the ban or came from countries allowed to export to the Philippines.

Piñol called on the OFW to not open the canned meat products as the ASF virus may spread.

He warned that travelers who bring in agricultural products without the necessary permits, especially from ASF-affected countries, could be fined P200,000.

The pork import ban is in effect for Cambodia, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, China and Japan.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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