ASF virus contained in QC, Belmonte says

MANILA The Quezon City government on Monday said it is complacent about stopping the spread of African swine fever (ASF) virus in the area by the end of September.

Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday said "her administration has already contained the virus and is now in the process of clearing affected areas".

"Sa katunayan, 24 hours na ang ginagawang operasyon ng veterinary office ukol dito, ngunit kailangan pa rin ng pamahalaang lungsod ang tulong ng mga mamimili para matiyak na walang naibebentang karne sa mga palengke na may ASF (In fact, the veterinary office has 24 hours operations on this, but the city government still needs the help of the public to ensure that no meat with ASF is sold in the markets )," Belmonte said in a statement.

She also encouraged consumers to report vendors selling pork without certificates or appropriate documents from the Quezon City Veterinary Office and National Meat Inspection Service.

Belmonte cited that pork remains unsalable in the city's markets.

"Halimbawa na lamang sa MuAoz market na bumagsak ng 50 percent ang bentahan ng karneng baboy ng ilang vendor. Kung dati rati ay nakakaubos sila ng tatlong baboy kada araw, ngayon ay isang piraso at kalahati na lamang (For example in MuAoz market, some vendors have cut the price of pork they're selling to 50 percent. Before, they're able to sell three pigs a day, now, they're able to sell only a pig and a half)," she said, adding that a kilo of pork now costs PHP 170 only from PHP 220.

24-hour checkpoints

To ensure that unsafe pork and pork products are not sold in the city, the local government has established 24-hour checkpoints in all the markets and slaughterhouses in the area.

City veterinary office chief, Dra. Ana Marie Cabal, said meat inspection is part of the safety measures observed by the city government after the Department of Agriculture has confirmed ASF in Barangays Payatas and Bagong Silangan.

"Tuloy-tuloy na ang culling sa mga baboy sa dalawang barangay sa lungsod (Culling of pigs in the two barangays is ongoing)," Cabal said.

Cabal stressed that the city government would arrest all hog raisers who will refuse to surrender their pigs with ASF since such act is a violation of the Sanitation Code or keeping animals that could harm human health.

"Iyong mga hahadlang sa mga government agents na nagpapatupad ng Sanitation Code ay maaaring makulong ng anim na buwan. Lahat ding Hog raisers na ayaw makipagtulungan ay kakasuhan din dahil sa paglabag sa Food Safety Act o pag-alok ng mga unsafe o banned food, na may katapat ding 6 na buwang pagkakakulong (Those who will interfere with the implementation of the Sanitation Code could be imprisoned for six months. All hog raisers who don't want to cooperate could also be imprisoned for six months as it a violation of Food Safety Act or offering banned or unsafe food)," she added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency