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The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on Monday night placed two towns in this province under state of calamity following confirmation of an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

This is in response to the request of Governor Humerlito Dolor to place the towns of Roxas and Mansalay under a state of calamity to contain the infection.

“The SP passed a resolution in a regular session this afternoon, October 9, declaring a state of calamity in Roxas and Mansalay, Provincial Board Member Roland Ruga said in an email.

In a social media post, Dolor said he also signed Executive Order 66 banning pork or pork products from leaving the two towns to prevent the spread of ASF to other parts of the province.

He said the Department of Agriculture – Mimaropa is sending initial two boxes or 360 test kits for immediate testing of samples from five villages in Roxas and one in Mansalay.

In his letter to the SP on Oct. 9, Dolor cited Republic Act 10121, also known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which empowers the SP to declare a province under state of calamity when two or more of its towns are affected by a natural or man-made disaster, upon the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

“The World Animal Health Organization defines African swine fever as a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs,” Dolor told SP members in his letter.

“ASF poses a grave threat to food security and biodiversity. While studies show the ASF does not imperil humans, its mortality rate for pigs is 100 percent. Considering that hogs are sources of food and income for many Oriental Mindorenos, the proliferation of the virus in local hogs and farms will affect hog raisers, farmers, and the public,” he added.

“For the past years, Oriental Mindoro was able to prevent the entry of ASF. Stringent border control, rigorous surveillance of suspected cases, and wide-spread information dissemination regarding the virus kept ASF out of the Province since 2019,” Dolor said.

Three ASF cases were confirmed in the villages of Bagumbayan and Dangay in Roxas and from hog mortalities in Mansalay.

Latest reports of the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office also said ASF has penetrated some piggeries in the province. (PNA)

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