The agriculture department has urged the public to be vigilant on the threat of smuggled of pork and pork products coming from China, as concerns about a new type of swine flu emerged.

Department of Agriculture (DA) assistant secretary Noel Reyes in a virtual presser said that the G4 or the new type of swine flu that is capable to trigger a pandemic is not yet here in the country, and the importation of meat and meat products from China and other African Swine Fever (ASF) affected countries is banned.

“Bawal pa mag-import ng meat, meat products sa China and other ASF countries. Ang appeal ni Secretary William Dar ay maging vigilant tayo at sana dapat ay wala nang smuggling ng pork and pork products galing China kasi dumarating pa rin yong smuggled goods,” he said.

Reyes said that smuggled products docked at the country’s seaports cause the spread of diseases, such as ASF which hit the Philippines’ hog growing industry around mid of 2019.

He said that food security must also be assured to protect the country’s agriculture industry on the possible effect of such diseases.

The agriculture department reiterated that the virus is still inside China and the country is not yet lifting the ban for the importation of meat and meat products from ASF affected countries.

“Nakikiusap ang department of agriculture sa mga negosyante na nagpaparating pa rin ng mga illegal pork products sa ating seaports, although mataas na yong quarantine measures natin, may mga tao na dyan, nakakalampas pa,” Reyes said.

“Again, sila ang dahilan kung bakit nakakapasok ang sakit na ito gaya ng ASF na binantayan natin uli, tuloy-tuloy pa rin. Nakikiusap si secretary na tigilan na natin itong smuggling, hindi lang sa baboy, sa lahat, ipasok natin ng legal, para yong food safety ay di maapektuhan,” he added.