File photo courtesy of Department of Agriculture

Board Member Albert Rama has asked Governor Jose Alvarez to issue an executive order that will ban the importation and entry of live swine and processed pork products in Palawan to prevent the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Rama said Tuesday at the regular session of the Provincial Board that the executive order is necessary following reports of ASF-infected hogs in the country.

“In order to prevent the contamination and protect the swine industry of the province from ASF disease, it is imperative that importation of possible contaminants be banned,” Rama said.

Rama said ASF is a highly contagious, dangerous and fatal disease among swine, with the ability to decimate the entire population.

“The disease is hemorrhagic in nature causing the infected pig to die within seven to 10 days. As of the moment, there is no cure or vaccine for the disease which is why the government has resorted to culling as the only solution to prevent the disease,” he said.

At present, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said 46 out of the total 81 provinces, which are about 60 percent of all provinces in the country, have imposed restrictions on the movement into their constituencies of Luzon-based pork processed meats.

Previously, the Department of Health (DOH) said that humans will not get ill by eating products from an infected hog, and explained ASF is not harmful to people.

DOH also reminded that those in the swine industry will be the first to be affected if ASF will not be prevented in the city.

Also, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the increase of financial assistance for swine raisers which hogs were culled due to ASF from PHP3,000 to PHP5,000 per head in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, cordoning validated areas as “ASF-infected zones”.