THE Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday, July 2, 2020, appealed to local meat traders to stop smuggling pork and pork products from China to prevent the entry of the new swine flu strain.
Experts in China have reported a new strain of swine flu called G4, which descended from the H1N1 swine flu.
“Unang-una ay dapat wala ng smuggling ng mga pork and pork products na galing China. Nakikiusap po kami sa mga nag-nenegosyo na nagpaparating pa rin illegally ng mga pork and pork products,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a Laging Handa public briefing Thursday.
He said the country has yet to eliminate the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and the entry of the new swine flu will only worsen the current health crisis.
“Mayroon na silang [China] epidemic in terms of swine flu, ‘wag natin dagdagan ang problema natin sa bansa. Itong pandemya natin, we really hope to win over. It’s a big challenge for all of us,” said Dar.
The Secretary assured that the government has imposed stricter importation measures in ports and airports nationwide.
“We have also elevated ‘yung quarantine measures doon sa mga seaports and airports natin para mabantayan po natin,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dar said the DA has allocated an initial P400 million to help farmers who were affected by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
Dar said the fund will be used to restock hogs and provide livelihood opportunities to farmers in Calabarzon and Central Luzon.
“In relation to hog industry, mayroon na kaming ibinaba sa mga rehiyon P400 million dito sa Calabarzon tsaka Central Luzon para mabigyan ng livelihood opportunities ‘yung apektado ng African swine fever, so sila ‘yung unang priority noong P400 million,” Dar said.
He added that another P400 million will be allocated in other regions starting this month.
“Ganoon din ang gagawin natin sa iba’t ibang rehiyon na apektado ng African swine flu kasi malaki yung na-depopulate. Mayroon tayong pangalawang tranche na P400 million also to restock yung hog industry. Uumpisahan natin nitong Hulyo,” the Secretary said.
Dar said the agency hopes to restock the hog industry in five to six months.
“Para gagawin po natin dito ay community hog raising, i c-cluster namin in group of 20 small hog raisers at sa isang 20 na cluster ay bibigyan natin ng ayuda in terms of mga biik at initially mga pagkain ng biik para ito yung restocking of the hog industry ay makakatulong doon sa mitigation of the potential deficient of pork by the end of the year,” he said.
“So sana maisagawa na namin agad agad para in five months or six months time may mga dagdag na karneng baboy maibenta,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)