Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes assured the public that the country is free from the new strain of swine flu virus known as “G4 virus.”
In a virtual press briefing of Inter-Agency Task Force – Sub Task Group on Food Security, Reyes explained that the country has banned the importation of meat and pork products, especially from China.
“Bawal pong mag-import ng meat and meat products, hogs for that matter, from China and other African Swine Flu (ASF) affected countries,” Reyes said.
But despite the ban, Reyes lamented that there are unscrupulous individuals who are smuggling goods into the country.
“Ang appeal po namin ni (Agriculture) Sec. William Dar ay maging vigilant po tayo at sana ay dapat wala nang smuggling of pork and pork products na galing ng China kasi may dumarating pa ring smuggled goods… Nakikiusap ang DA, Sec. William Dar sa mga negosyanteng nagpaparating pa rin ng illegal pork products sa ating seaports,” Reyes said.
Reyes said illegal activity is the primary reason that ASF was able to enter the country.
“Although mataas na po yong quarantine measures natin, may mga tao po dyan na nakakalampas po, again, sila po ang dahilan kung bakit nakakapasok po ang sakit na ito, gaya ng ASF. Binantayan natin, and yet, tuluy-tuloy pa rin,” Reyes explained.
Reyes encouraged the public to import goods legally and stop smuggling pork and other kind of goods in the country.
“Tigilan na po natin ito, ito pong smuggling. Hindi lamang sa baboy, (kundi) sa lahat. Ipasok po natin ng legal. At sana po yung food safety… para hindi ma disgrasya o maapektuhan ang ating agrikultura at ang pangisdaan,” Reyes said. (PIA-NCR)