Gatchalian cautions DepEd vs pork consumption in schools amid ASF cases
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to intensify its precautionary measures to prevent students from consuming contaminated pork products amid the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in the country.
“Mahalagang mag-doble ingat ang mga paaralan lalo na’t mahilig ang mga bata sa ganitong klase ng mga produktong positibo sa ASF,” Gatchalian, chair of the Senate basic education committee, said.
(It’s important to take extra precaution especially that children are fond of eating the type of food products that are prone to ASF contamination).
“Sa mga feeding program na isinasagawa ng DepEd, halimbawa, dapat siguruhin ng ating mga guro na gumagamit sila ng mga malinis at mapagkakatiwalaang mga produktong ipakakain sa mga bata,” he added.
(For example, DepEd should make sure that teachers use clean and reliable products to give students during feeding programs).
Gatchalian issued this reminder after Agriculture Secretary William Dar reported that 13 ASF outbreaks were confirmed in the provinces of Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Rizal.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently reported that ASF has also spread to the cities of Caloocan and Malabon in Metro Manila.
The head of DA’s secretariat for Crisis Management Team on ASF said 70,000 hogs had so far been culled.
DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry also earlier confirmed that skinless longganisa (sausage) and hotdog from Mekeni were tested positive for ASF.
Gatchalian then underscored the need for responsible shopping of food products and ensuring they are fully-cooked.
“Ito ay upang maiwasan natin ang pagkakasakit ng mga mag-aaral pati na rin ang pagkalat pa ng ASF,” Gatchalian said.
(This is to ensure that we prevent our children from getting seek and to avoid the spread of ASF).
Citing information from the Department of Health, Gatchalian said ASF is introduced into a herd when contaminated raw pork is ingested by a pig.
The virus spreads when pigs get into direct contact with other pigs, he added, whie food waste, feed, and garbage can also cause ASF when ingested by hogs.
Gatchalian DepEd to involve parents in efforts to raise awareness on sanitary practices and preventive measures.
“While schools play an important role to protect our students’ health, it is important that we also extend our efforts at the household level,” he said.
“Kahit gawin ng mga paaralan ang lahat ng pwedeng gawin, kung hindi naman nababantayan sa mga bahay nila malalagay pa rin sa panganib ang ating mga estudyante,” he added.
(Even if schools would take all the necessary precautions, if it’s not also done in the household students will still be placed in danger.) /kga
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