Canned pork seized from OFW positive for African Swine Fever virus

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2019   •   5008

Confiscated canned pork products that tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) virus | Courtesy : Secretary Manny Piñol’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol confirmed on Friday (June 12) that the canned pork products confiscated last March 25 at the Clark International Airport have tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.

Piñol said that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported the detection of the ASF virus from the confiscated canned pork products brought in by a returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Hong Kong.

The Agriculture Chief cited a report by Dr. Rachel Azul of BAI’s Virulogy Section saying “the viral DNA was isolated in pork luncheon meat and was tested using the ASF Taqman PCR Asssay at the ADDRL,” a procedure validated by laboratories in the United Kingdom and is widely used in countries in Asia for detection of ASF virus.

Azul clarified, however, that the detection of the ASF virus in the confiscated canned pork does not change the Philippine’s status as an “African Swine Fever-free” nation.

“So far, no African swine fever infections have been reported in pigs in the country,” she said as posted by Secretary Piñol.

“The seizure is a warning for the industry and an acknowledgment of the catastrophic threat on our doorsteps. If introduced, ASF would have a significant impact on pig health and production and contribute to enormous economic losses,” she added.

In a separate post, Secretary Piñol defended the Bureau of Quarantine for imposing strict screening procedures at airports as preventive measure against the the entry of the deadly pig virus.

“Kung nakalusot po ito at naipakain sa mga alagang baboy ang tira-tira, maaring kumalat ang sakit sa ating mga babuyan at magiging sanhi ng pagkasira ng ating hog industry,” he said.

(If leftovers of these products were fed to our livestock, the virus could have spread and harm our hog industry.)

“Doon po sa mga nagsasabing nag-o-over react lang kami at nagrereklamo sa mga mahigpit na quarantine protocols, ito po ang patunay na meron talaga tayong kinakaharap na panganib,” he added.

(To those who are accusing us of over reacting and were complaining against strict quarantine protocols, this is the proof that there is really danger ahead of us.)

READ: Ban on pork, pork-based products from ASF-infected countries still in effect – DA

Piñol asked all returning Filipinos to yield to quarantine officers at the airport.

“Huwag na po tayong maging pilosopo at matigas ang ulo. Sumunod po tayo sa mga quarantine officers sa mga airport,” he appealed.

(Let us not argue and don’t be hard-headed. Let us just follow the quarantine officers at the airport.)

“Bawal na po magpasok ng mga delata at processed pork products sa bansa. Huhulihin po kayo at pagmumultahin,” he concluded.

(It is prohibited to bring canned and processed pork products into the country. You will be arrested and fined.)

No food shortage in Odette-hit areas — Dar

Maris Federez   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured that the country has sufficient food supply despite the damage caused by Typhoon Odette to the agricultural sector.

Based on DA data, more than 68,000 farmers and fishers were affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Around 300,000 hectares of farmland were destroyed and large portions of fisheries were affected.

The coconut and rice industries have also greatly suffered.

“Ang total damage and losses sa agriculture natin sa bansa ay umabot na po ng almost P6 billion pesos, still counting,” said DA Secretary William Dar.

Despite this turn of events, however, Dar assured that there will be no shortage of food supply.

“We do not have a big problem in terms of rice. Rice is so much available in most of the areas. But, of course, there are those areas that are slightly affected because of logistics,” he said.

Meanwhile, the department allotted Php2.9 billion to procure and distribute seeds for sowing and fishing boats.

This is to assist farmers and fisherfolks to get back on their feet and start anew. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

Phl inflation slows down in November — PSA

Maris Federez   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The inflation rate in the country slowed down in November, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Tuesday (December 7).

The PSA said the country’s inflation “continued to exhibit a slower pace as it eased further to 4.2 percent in November 2021, from 4.6 percent in October 2021”.

The average inflation from January to November 2021 remained at 4.5 percent. Inflation in November 2020 was posted at 3.3 percent.

The reason behind the downtrend in the overall inflation in November 2021 was the slow movement in the price index of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 3.9 percent inflation.

“Ang dahilan ng pagbagal ng antas ng inflation nitong  Nobyembre 2021 ay ang mas mabagal na paggalaw ng presyo ng food and non-alcoholic beverages na may 3.9 % inflation at  93.2 % share sa pagbaba ng pangkalahatang inflation sa bansa,” PSA national statistician Dennis Claire Mapa said.

In addition, lower inflation was also recorded in the price of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 7.5 percent, and furnishing, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house at 2.4 percent.

A downward trend was also registered in the inflation for food index as it slowed down further to 4.1 percent in November 2021, from 5.6 percent in the previous month.

By specific food item, the annual growth rate of vegetables dropped by -1.8 percent during the month, after posting a double-digit annual increase of 11.4 percent in October 2021.

Moreover, annual increases in the indices of meat and fish, slid at 10.7 and 7.9 percent, respectively.

However, on a month-on-month basis, both meat and pork recorded positive inflation at 2.4 and 4.2 percent, respectively.

“Pork prices continuously went down month-on-month from July to early-October. This means that our policy to temporarily import pork has been effective. However, the uptick in prices in November shows that we need to further ease administrative requirements for the unloading and distribution of stocks to encourage more importation and help bring back pork prices to their pre-African Swine Fever level,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said.

On the other hand, the PSA also noted that non-food inflation slightly rose to 4.1 percent from 3.8 percent for the same period.

This was caused mainly by high international crude oil prices, which drove up transport inflation to 8.8 percent from 7.1 percent.

Slight increase in inflation was also reflected in housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 4.6 percent from 4.4 percent. —/mbmf

Presyo ng baboy, posible pang tumaas habang papalapit ang holiday season – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tumaas ang presyo ng karne ng baboy sa ilang pamilihan sa Metro Manila.

Sa ulat ni Aileen Cerrudo sa UNTV C-News, sinasabing umaabot sa P20 hanggang P60 ang presyo ng karne ng baboy.

Sa Mega Q Mart, nasa P420 ang presyo ng kada kilo ng liempo, P350-P360 naman ang halaga ng kada kilo ng kasim.

Sa Commonwealth Market, hanggang P320 ang halaga ng liempo at nasa P360 naman ang kasim.

Nasa P390 ang presyo ng kada kilo ng liempo habang nasa P300 to P340 ang presyo ng kasim sa Malabon Central Market.

Sa Munoz at Guadalupe Market naman, umiikot sa P360 hanggang P380 ang kada kilo ng liempo habang nasa P320 at P330 naman ang kasim.

Ayon sa Department of Agriculture (DA), ito ay bunsod ng kakulangan pa rin sa supply ng baboy dahil sa epekto ng African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

Ayon sa DA, posible pang tumaas ang presyo ng baboy sa pagsapit ng buwan ng Disyembre dahil sa inaasahang pagtaas ng demand kaugnay ng holiday season.

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