Gov. Aumentado: Bohol remains ASF-free
MANDAUE CITY, CEBU – Alarmed by the reported case of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Cebu, the Bohol provincial government is trying to up its guard in order to protect its swine industry.
In a statement, Governor Aris Aumentado said they needed to find means the soonest possible time to prevent the entry of the ASF virus in Bohol, which is located very close to Cebu.
Bohol currently has a “green level” status, which means that the island province remains ASF-free.
Aumentado called for an emergency meeting with Capitol department heads, representatives of concerned government agencies and industry players on Monday, March 6, 2023, to discuss the detection of the ASF virus in Cebu.
They also identified measures on how to prevent the entry of the virus in Bohol.
During the meeting, Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, head of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPV), said that they should prohibit the entry of pork and pork products from Cebu.
Lapiz said that Bohol do not need additional supply of pork coming from the outside, especially Cebu, since they currently enjoy a 271-percent supply sufficiency level.
At the same time, she called for assistance in securing and monitoring movements in the province’s coastal areas to discourage the entry of pigs and other pork products coming from the outside.
The OPV, she said, do not the capacity to include the coastal areas in their monitoring.
Lapiz added that to date, they only have one PCR test machine for breeders, which is stationed in Ubay town.
The Cebu Provincial Veterinary Office has confirmed on Monday, March 6, that they have detected the ASF virus from samples of slaughtered pigs in Carcar City in the south.
Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy, the Provincial Veterinarian, said the discovery was made as a result of their regular ASF surveillance.
Aumentado said they cannot allow the ASF virus to also enter Bohol.
In 2022, Aumentado issued Executive Order No. 52 “Constituting the Bohol African Swine Fever Inter-Agency Task Force in the Province of Bohol,” where he is also sits as the over all chairman.
On September 22 of the same year, the governor signed Provincial Ordinance No. 2022-011 “Prohibiting the Entry of Live Pigs, Pork, Pork Products and Frozen Semen Coming From the African Swine fever (ASF) Affected Areas and Providing Penalties thereof.”
Provincial Administrator Aster Caberte said that the P5,000 fine should be imposed on violators of the provincial ordinance to show that the provincial government is serious with its anti-ASF campaign.
During their emergency meeting, proposals were also raised on the need to impose fines on travellers caught transporting pork from outside of Bohol province.
The imposition of the fine should be extended to ship and airline captains.
Strict monitoring should also be imposed on cargo trucks that enter their jurisdiction.
And in order to prevent misinformation and to continue to assure his constituents that the pork in Bohol remains safe for consumption, Aumentado has ordered the the posting of ASP advisories in convergence areas like ports and public markets.
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