(Photo courtesy of Palawan Provincial Information Office)

The Department of Agriculture–Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) has awarded the Recognition of Active Surveillance on African Swine Fever (RAS-ASF) certificate to three additional municipalities in Palawan.

Awarded their RAS-ASF earlier this year were Taytay, Roxas, and Bataraza.

This recognition is the outcome of collaborative efforts between the provincial government of Palawan and the Provincial Veterinary Office (ProVet). Through rigorous testing, barangays within these municipalities have tested negative for ASF.

The Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) has set the RAS-ASF as a primary requirement for local government units (LGUs) to identify ASF-safe barangays, and provincial veterinarian Dr. Darius Mangcucang emphasized the significance of this requirement on Friday.

This certification permits the transportation of live pigs for meat purposes, even within Palawan’s ‘Dark Green Zone’ status regarding ASF.

“Sa ngayon ay nadagdagan tayo ng mga munisipyo na nagawaran ng RAS-ASF Certificate. Ito ay isa sa kahilingan ng National Quarantine para payagang makapaglabas ng live na baboy (meat purpose) palabas ng Palawan kahit pa tayo ay Dark Green Zone,” Mangcucang explained.

Currently, a total of nine municipalities in the province have received this certification, including Narra, Brooke’s Point, Cuyo, Dumaran, Magsaysay, and Quezon, with certifications issued on various dates throughout 2023.

ProVet anticipates that more municipalities will join this list pending the results of blood sampling conducted on pig farms in Coron and Busuanga.

The provincial government also vowed to continue its vigilant monitoring and surveillance at the province’s points of entry, along with regular blood sampling, to ensure the safety of Palawan’s swine industry and maintain Palawan’s status as a “dark green zone’ or ASF-free zone.