SAN JOSE, Antique, Feb. 27 (PIA) -- The Provincial African Swine Fever (ASF) Crisis Management Task Force is strictly monitoring the entry of pork-based products in Antique, in a bid to address the pressing concern on ASF.
In a press conference, Trade and Industry Development Specialist Glen Fernando disclosed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with the help of the Provincial Veterinary Office (ProVet) here, is keeping an eye on retailers and seizing pork products manufactured from ASF-affected areas.
"Ginlibot namun ang mga business establishments nga nagabaligya kang mga processed pork. Kay na obserbahan namun nga duro ang gasulod, duro ang ginabaligya rugya. May rugyan gani nga unlabeled. So ginpamaan natun sa mga retailers nga for them to be more conscious sa pag-purchase nanda or pagbaton kang diya nga mga processed pork products (We have been roaming around business establishments that are selling process pork because we have observed there are a lot of sellers here. There are even unlabeled. We inform the retailers to be more conscious upon purchasing or receiving their processed pork products.), " Fernando said.
He added that retailers have been cooperative during the monitoring and surveillance activities in supermarkets, meat shops, grocery stores, and fast-food chains.
"Wara ti resistance on their part kay tungod gani man-an nanda naka-stipulate sa atun nga provincial ordinance nga may penalty nga pwede impose kananda kon mamaligya pa sanda, (There is no resistance on their part because they knew that the provincial ordinance stipulates the penalties imposed if they continue to sell those products.), " Fernando explained.
Based on the Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-242, which is dubbed as the African Swine Fever Prevention Ordinance of Antique, violators will be penalized with a maximum of P5,000 or one-year imprisonment.
The DTI advised consumers to avoid buying pork products if they have doubts regarding their sources.
The importance of product labels was also emphasized as it determines the ingredients and the manufacturer.
To note, pork products in Western Visayas are considered safe as there are no cases of ASF in the region.
The ProVet, on the other hand, forged ties with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as part of the implementation of veterinary quarantine checkpoints along the towns, provincial borders, airport, and ports.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Florencio Macuja appealed to the public to cooperate during the inspection of the task force for the protection of the swine industry in Antique.
Apart from the checkpoints and monitoring efforts, the provincial task force also strengthened the conduct of its information dissemination drives to concerned stakeholders on ASF awareness, prevention, preparedness, and response. (LTP/LML-PIA6 Antique)