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

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2020   •   1440

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.”

Fishkill in Laguna Lake not caused by a virus — BFAR

Marje Pelayo   •   June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4A has reported that around 800 metric tons of fish died in Laguna Lake last week in the areas of Pililia and Binangonan, Rizal.

Region 4A Director Sammy Malvas clarified that the fish kill was due to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the water and not because of any virus outbreak as some reports said.

“Kalimitan ang cause nyan ay iyong pabago-bagong weather condition natin. Halimbawa ay mainit sa araw tapos bandang hapon ay biglang bubuhos ang malakas na ulan, nagko-cause iyon ng pagbaba ng lebel ng dissolved oxygen, (Usually, the cause is the changing weather conditions. For example, the sun is up in the morning then in the afternoon, we have thunderstorms, that causes reduction in level of dissolved oxygen),” Malvas explained.

One of the viruses that can infect tilapya is the so-called ‘tilapia lake virus’ (TLV), a case of which was recorded three years ago in Bulacan.

There has been no recurrence of such incident so far according to Malvas, as they also conduct strict laboratory testing of fish seed samples before transporting them to other places.

“Nag-i-issue kasi tayo ng health certificate para doon sa transboundary movement ng mga buhay na semilya (We issue health certificates for transboundary movement of live fish seedlings),” Malvas said. 

The supply of tilapia at the Balintawak Market comes from Pampanga and Batangas and there has been no price increase. 

BFAR  assured that fish supplies in the market are safe to eat provided they are thoroughly cooked. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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)

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