Gwen: Stop testing pigs for ASF

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has raised her concerns about the South Road Properties as the venue for the upcoming Sinulog Grand Festival. | Morexette Marie Erram

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. | Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Despite reports that the African Swine Fever (ASF) has allegedly spread to other parts of the province, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia will still keep her decision of stopping culling activities in Carcar City.

In fact, the governor has ordered to stop the testing of live pigs suspected of having the infectious swine disease. 

“You only test if a pig manifest symptoms,” Garcia said in a press conference on Thursday, March 16. 

Garcia made this announcement when the DA-7 reportedly decided to continue the culling of pigs in Carcar City, adding that the measure, meant to stop the ASF virus from spreading and introduced in 2019, is backed by science. 

However, this did not sit well with Capitol’s chief executive. 

During Thursday’s briefer, she told the national government agency to ‘respect the province’s local autonomy.’ Garcia also requested them to coordinate with the provincial government should they have new plans in addressing the ASF threat here. 

Otherwise, she warned DA-7, and any of its officials involved, that they will be taking legal action against them.

“If you don’t want to recognize the Province of Cebu, then you start culling pigs outside the municipal waters of Cebu. Not within,” said Garcia.

“Give us due respect because you are operating within the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu,” she added. 

At least 143 pigs in Carcar City have been culled since the discovery of the first case of ASF in Cebu. The province managed to maintain its status as ASF-free for roughly four years. 

Garcia recently instructed authorities in the city to halt culling, saying it puts small-scale backyard pig raisers at a disadvantage. This runs contradictory to the policy the DA introduced in 2019 in which all pigs, whether healthy or not, within a 500-meter radius of the infected area must be culled. 

The governor, in addition, doubted that what authorities found in Carcar City was ASF and that the samples may only contain classic swine fever or hog cholera. / rcg 


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