By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – Eastern Visayas, the country’s gateway to Luzon and Mindanao, remains free from African swine fever, says Department of Agriculture Office 8.
DA 8 information officer Francis Rosaroso, said they have created an interagency technical group called Quick Response Team (QRT) that oversees ingress and exit points in Northern Samar going to Luzon, and Leyte and Southern Leyte going to Mindanao and Cebu.
“In Northern Samar, particularly in Allen and San Isidro ports, a round the clock 24/7 monitoring is being done, led by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) quarantine officers and augmentation staff from the provincial and regional office,” he shared.
He added that they sought the support of local government units, army and Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure that no suspected ASF-affected live hogs, meat, and meat products would enter from Luzon, which is found to be positive of the ASF Virus.
Rosaroso said that they were instructed to safeguard and make sure that veterinary certification and other pertinent documents are shown by transporters in airports and terminals in the rest of the region.
“We need to be rational in balancing restrictions to make sure we have a stable supply of safe hog meat. We are exercising maximum biosecurity measures since we are the gateway to different regions of the country,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, the official clarified that the virus is not hazardous to humans, and only affects hogs up to this time.