By Jann Reymund Tatad
VIRAC, Catanduanes – The temporary ban of entry of hogs, pork, and pork by-products continues to be in effect with the strict implementation of Acting Governor Shirley Araojo-Abundo’s Executive Order No. 12, which confirmed the presence of Asian swine fever (ASF) in the Bicol region.
Dr. Jane Rubio, provincial veterinarian and head of the provincial ASF Task Force, said meat products, even those from well-known companies, will be confiscated if found not complying with EO No. 12.
Other processed meat not made of pork, like beef longganisa, chicken, and others, are not covered by the executive order.
As such, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Catanduanes has intensified the monitoring and inspection of ports in Virac and San Andres to ensure that no banned meat products would enter the province.
In line with this, PCG Catanduanes also continues to conduct coastal barangay patrol, on the look out for traders who might want to smuggle into the province banned pork products.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Catanduanes has also been putting up checkpoints in areas where imported live hogs were said to be illegally slaughtered.
Rubio reiterated that humans were not at risk if they consume pork infected with ASF.
Nevertheless, Rubio emphasized that no single hog infected with the ASF virus should be allowed entry into the province, and that if it is found to have made its way into Catanduanes, this should be immediately slaughtered and buried.