Palace says there’s ‘no need to worry’ about African Swine Fever in PH
MANILA, Philippines — There is no need for the public to worry about the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country, Malacañang said Monday, after the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed cases of the disease in local piggeries.
“I think there is no need to worry considering that the DA secretary has not cautioned us not to avoid or not to eat, or to avoid,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
The DA revealed Monday that 14 out of 20 blood samples from sick pigs that eventually died in local piggeries tested positive of ASF.
Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has not given any directive to DA yet. For Panelo, he said “the reasonable thing to do is to avoid it (eating pork).”
“Well, me, I am avoiding it but this morning I ate. But we have to wait for the circulars or information to be coming from the DA to tell us exactly what we have to do,” he said.
Even without the directive from Duterte, Panelo said Agriculture Secretary William Dar is competent enough to handle the issue.
“As I said, the DA will take care of that. I am sure the DA secretary is competent enough to handle the problem,” he said.
Dar said in a press briefing that 7,416 hogs have been depopulated and most of these came from the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan.
“If it’s safe, which part of the areas are safe because some areas affected by the swine [fever] then the reasonable thing to do is to do what the DA secretary will tell us,” Panelo said.
The Palace official said “all agencies of the government are expected to be transparent on their activities.” /je
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