Governor Amado I. Espino III has immediately issued an executive order on implementing a temporary total ban on the entry of all live swine/pigs into the province of Pangasinan in response to the confirmation of the Department of Agriculture on September 9 that African Swine Fever (ASF) has caused the reported swine mortality in Rizal and Bulacan provinces.
“There is an urgent need for a wider and more stringent ban on the entry of swine/pigs in the province of Pangasinan to safeguard its swine industry as well as to protect the general public from the ill effects of the ASF,” executive order no. 0092-2019 stated.
The temporary total prohibition on the entry of all swine/pigs into Pangasinan is ordered until such time that a declaration is made by the Bureay of Animal Industry (BAI) of the assurance of the safety in the swine industry.
As a protocol, quarantine officers of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) are deputized to install quarantine checkpoints in possible entry points of swine shippers from all regions, such as the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway and other strategic roadlines.
When the suspected ASF reportedly affected some areas outside Pangasinan on the later part of August, Governor Amado I. Espino III immediately alerted the OPVet and Department of Agriculture (DA) in coordination with the BAI, and the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (Pangasinan – PPO) to collaborate to intensify the swine/pig quarantine checkpoints all over the province.
Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine Baniqued emphasized during the Pangasinan-in-Action Talakayan ed Kapitolyo held on September 10 the crucial roles of all local chief executives to strengthen biosafety, hygiene and sanitation standards in slaughtherhouses / abattoirs and public markets in their respective area of jurisdiction in order to ensure the safety of their constituents and the local swine industry.
The OPVet and partner agencies, according to Assistant Provincial Veterinarian Jovito Tabarejos, have installed three more quarantine checkpoints in entry-exit points of the province in addition to the existing eight which were established two years ago to protect Pangasinan from the spread of Avian flu which hit other provinces.
As a pre-emptive measure, Governor Espino then ordered temporary ban on entry of swine/pigs in the province of Pangasinan from Rizal and Bulacan via the issuance of executive order no. 0076-2019 and executive order no. 0080-2019.
“For us to prevent ‘bigger damage’, barangay officials and all residents of Pangasinan are enjoined to support authorities in reinforcing the temporary total ban on the entry of all live swine/pigs, and swine by-products into the province,” Atty. Baniqued said.
Expressing concern on the local swine industry of the province, Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya said the temporary total ban on the entry of all live hogs into the province comes as a positive note for Pangasinenses to unite and to be cautious for their safety.
“The discipline, and strict compliance and support of Pangasinenses on preventive measures issued to protect the province from the ASF is highly encouraged,” Moya said.
Pangasinan Police Provincial Office Acting Provincial Director Redrico Maranan assured the allout support of police authorities into the said executive order, noting that 60 police personnel have been deployed to man the quarantine checkpoints.
As of date, 18 trucks containing live swine/pigs were stopped in the quarantine checkpoints and were asked to return in their respective point of origin.
The Philippines is the 21st country affected by the ASF.
/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca