BFAR warns of shellfish poisoning, red tide toxins in waters of Palawan, parts of Visayas

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2020   •   471

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has raised the alarm over consumption of shellfish and ‘alamang’ from the coastal waters of Palawan and several areas in the Visayas due to high level of red tide toxin.

Based on the latest laboratory results, the level of paralytic shellfish poison is beyond regulatory limit in the coastal waters of the following:

  • Puerto Princesa Bay (Palawan)
  • Puerto Princesa City (Palawan)
  • Dauis (Bohol)
  • Tagbilaran City (Bohol)
  • Irong-irong Bay (Western Samar)
  • Cancato Bay, Tacloban City (Leyte)
  • Lianga Bay (Surigao del Sur)

Meanwhile, high level of red tide toxin is present in the waters of:

  • Carigara Bay (Leyte)
  • San Pedro Bay (Western Samar)

“All types of shellfish and Acetes s. or alamang gathered from the areas stated above are NOT SAFE for human consumption,” the BFAR said in its advisory.

The agency added, however, that fish, squids, shrimps and crabs in the area are safe for human consumption provided that they are “fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.”

Duterte to visit tourist sites to boost tourism amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte prepares to board a helicopter after gracing the inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project in Cavite City on February 15, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte will visit popular tourist sites in the Philippines to promote local tourism amid the COVID-19 threat.

READ: It’s more fun in the Philippines: Duterte invites Filipinos to visit local tourism sites amid Covid-19 fears

The President may travel to Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol to attract more visitors and potentially make up for the losses of the current travel ban in China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

“He’s a magnet. His presence attracts people from attending an event,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Usec. Art Boncato said they will schedule a trip as soon as possible.

“We’re of course lining up destinations like Boracay, Cebu for instance even Bohol, as the initial list of destinations for the president most probably visit within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

READ: Duterte asks local carriers, hotels to help boost PH tourism amid COVID-19 threat

Tourism industry stakeholders agreed to help boost domestic travel by offering discounted airfare and hotel rates following a meeting with President Duterte.

“Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Pasyal tayo dito sa atin. Unahin natin ‘yung atin. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang turismo ng Pilipinas,” Duterte said on his video message.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Two foreign children in Palawan suspected of having novel coronavirus

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2020

PALAWAN, Philippines – A Brazilian child and a Taiwanese child are under observation at a hospital in Palawan after showing flu-like symptoms related to novel coronavirus (nCoV).

According to authorities, the Brazilian patient arrived in El Nido from Wuhan on Wednesday (January 22).

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese national was reported to have had interactions with the locals before he was detected to have influenza.

The two patients remain in isolation for 14 days for observation in accordance with the protocol of the Bureau of Quarantine.

Dr. Audie Cipriano said they are still waiting for the test results on the blood samples of the patients which they expect the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) will release today.

“The fever is gone already, (only) cough and colds,” noted Cipriano, the Chief of Medical Staff in Ospital ng Palawan.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is still monitoring the conditions of the 36-year-old man confined in a hospital in Palo, Leyte after manifesting flu-like symptoms from his recent trip in Wuhan, China. MNP (with reports from Grace Casin)

Tons of mackerel tuna swim ashore in Romblon

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2020

ROMBLON, Philippines – Tons of mackerel tuna (tulingan) surfaced along the coastline of Barangay Sawang in the town of Romblon on Friday (January 17), prompting cheers of excitement from residents.

According to the uploader of the viral video, they have been observing hundreds of fish swimming near the shoreline since Thursday.

It was not the first time that such a phenomenon happened in the area, though the most recent was many years ago, one resident said.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), meanwhile, said they are still verifying the cause of the incident though the agency explained that fish usually appear near the beach if they find something to feed on.

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