The Puerto Princesa City Veterinarian is pushing for a Bantay African Swine Fever (ASF) reporting mechanism through a city ordinance, which aims to prevent the entry of ASF through early detection at the purok level.

City vet Dr. Indira Santiago said that other provinces in the country experienced outbreaks in hog farms because there was no coordinated action at the barangay level. She added that the national government also requires local government units (LGUs) to adopt Bantay ASF ordinances to prevent more outbreaks.

“’Yong ibang mga probinsya, noong nagkaroon sila ng experience na napasukan sila ng ASF, parang matagal ‘yong reporting, kaya kumalat. Nakita na lang na naapektuhan ang maraming mga barangay,” Santiago said in a phone interview on Friday.

“Magke-create lang tayo ng awareness sa mga barangay na i-adopt nila ‘yong protocol natin, sa pagbawal ng mga shipment ng mga hindi rehistradong mga traders, tapos ‘pag may sakit ‘yong baboy mo, tapos makita mo na ang mga signs katulad ng nilalagnat o sumusuka,” she added.

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The drafted ordinance is pending a public hearing before the city council and relevant stakeholders.

Santiago added that while they are able to monitor the entry of pork products in the city, it is challenging to monitor products coming from the municipalities. This is why they are encouraging farmers and barangay officials to be proactive in monitoring their pigs and hogs.

“Ang entry points natin ay mainly ang [Puerto Princesa] Port at ang airport. Pero problema natin, sa port ng El Nido, sa Taytay, ‘yong mga napapasukan na iba na hindi sakop ng jurisdiction ng city. Although maayos ang relationship natin with [provincial veterinarian] Dr. [Darius] Mangcucang, alam din natin na medyo limited lang din ang number of staff niya na umiikot sa mga areas na iyon,” she added.

Back in November 2021, the Provincial Veterinarian of Palawan said that they increased surveillance on the entry of hogs after ASF was discovered in Marinduque. ASF, a highly-infectious animal disease that has a 100 percent fatality rate on infected pigs, is not fatal to humans.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.