The local Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has assured the public that there are no pork and pork-based products arriving in the province from China.
The BAI said it is ready to confiscate any of these products as a measure to prevent the entry of the new swine flu.
Regional Veterinary Quarantine Officer (RVQO) Dr. Freddie Glicerio Baaco Jr. said Thursday that they have personnel stationed at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA) ready to confiscate any pork and pork-based products once international flights resume.
“So far, wala kaming importation galing China. At kung sakali man na magkaroon ng biyahe galing ng China, mayroon kaming tao sa airport na nag-i-inspection. Saka mayroon tayong footbath na dadaanan ng pasahero,” said Baaco.
Baaco said that passengers will also be required to go through footbaths in order to assure that no virus will be carried into the province.
The hand-carry baggage of passengers will undergo X-ray inspection, and should any pork and pork-based products are found, the personnel from BAI will immediately confiscate these products to contain and burn them, he added.
Baaco said they are also implementing strict measures at the Puerto Princesa Port to ensure that no imported meat and meat-based product from China will entry from cargo and passengers vessels.
“Wala naman importation dito [sa pier], locally produced. Wala naman [nakakalusot]. Dumadaan sa amin yan. Kapag makita namin manifest nila, kung ano nakalagay. Kapag may baboy, ‘di na namin pinapapasok, pinapabalik,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has also said in previous statements that there are no pork and pork-based products importations from China due to the ban implemented to African Swine Fever (ASF) affected countries.
Recently, DA stated that researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu named G4 that is capable to trigger a pandemic.
The agriculture department also urged the public to be vigilant on the threat of smuggled pork and pork products coming from China that is one of the causes of the entry of diseases such as ASF in 2019.
Baaco also advised Palaweños to only buy pork products in Luzon that is approved by the bureau.
“Iwasan na nila na magbili ng meat products galing ng Luzon. Dahil sa prevention seminar, mahigpit na pinagbabawal namin ang pagpasok ng karne, ng baboy. Kung mayroon man, dapat may mga permit galing ng Bureau of Animal Industry sa Manila,” he said.