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Tighten borders; ASF nears Bohol

Strict enforcement on the entry of processed meat from Cebu, much more live pigs, will be tightened as the feared Asian Swine Fever (ASF) has hit certain places in Cebu.

Director Paul Limson of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI- Manila) will be arriving in Cebu City tomorrow to personally bring the results of the laboratory test indicating an ASF contamination from the blood samples taken from more than 100 pigs in Carcar City and Lapu-Lapu City.

The BAI top official will be meeting with the local government units, particularly with  Carcar City Mayor Mercedita R. Apura  and Lapulapu City Mayor Junard Chan to discuss immediate measures to abort the spread of this dreaded virus that could place the hog industry in the entire Visayas in crisis. It may be noted that ASF has already hit several areas in Maninao.

A highly placed source told the Chronicle that out of the 149 samples tested at the regional laboratory of the Department of Agriculture, 58 were detected to be positive for the virus.

The Chronicle reported last Sunday the feared contamination of the ASF virus from among Cebu hog raisers following the reported deaths of some 3,600 pigs in Minglanilla, Cebu last December.   However, agriculture authorities in Cebu denied this report.

Regional Technical Director for Operations Joel Alumbre of the Department of Agriculture-7 said he will await the arrival of the laboratory results tomorrow in order to make the declaration official.


The province of Bohol is still free from the dreaded hog disease, the African Swine Fever (ASF) that has already hit other neighboring provinces in the Visayas Region.

During the “Capitol Reports” last Friday, Prov’l Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie D. Lapiz; Dr. Marielle Abisado, Veterinary Quarantine Officer- Bureau of Animal Industry; and Alturas Group President Marlito Uy said that we are not laggards on this situation because the hog industry in Bohol is endangered considering that there are cases of ASF in some Cebu towns.

They stressed that ASF is a serious disease for pigs because there is no vaccine being developed to stop the spread of the virus.

Lapiz disclosed that based on ASF history, the disease was started in Kenya, Africa sometime in 1910 that spread to Europe that would last for about 36 years. In 2016, it hit China and in July 2019, the first case was recorded in the Philippines.

In 2020, Rizal Province was hit by ASF that spread to almost all areas in Luzon. The same year that the disease hit in Mindanao; 2021 in Leyte; middle of 2022 in Camiguin and before the end of 2022 in Ilo-Ilo. The reported death of thousands of pigs in Cebu is still being verified now on what are the causes, Lapiz said.

They stressed that ASF would spread through food waste from pork meat and processed pork products or “pasaw” and fomites.

They asked the barangay officials, youth, the media, and all Boholanos, in particular, to help in this drive so as to protect the 5.6 billion pesos total economic value of the local hog industry in Bohol from 48, 000 Boholano backyard raisers who ensure now the 251% of pork supply sufficiency level.

They added that the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) through Gov. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado and Vice-Governor Dionisio Victor Balite has strengthened all measures to prevent the spread of ASF here in the province.

Gov. Aumentado issued last February 22, 2023, issued an Executive Order No. 7 as an addendum to Executive Order No.45 series of 2022 Providing Supplementary Guidelines in the Entry of Live Hogs from African Swine Fever Provinces into the province of Bohol.

Under  Article 13, section 25-A mandates that all live breeder animals and their genetic materials transported into the province of Bohol coming from Region VII shall, individually, undergo an ASF Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and antibody ELIZA Test to be taken, examined, and results submitted within 21 days prior to the shipment of the said hogs.

Businessman Uy said that they felt panicky about the situation now considering that some neighboring provinces in the Visayas and almost all pigs in Mindanao have been infected with ASF.

Uy said that first in history that Bohol or the Visayas supplied live hogs in Mindanao which is the biggest agricultural region in the Philippines.

He said that his friend- a businessman in Mindanao who had a piggery bigger than Marcela Farms was hit by ASF which until now has not yet recovered.

Dr. Abisado asked the travelers or the passengers to bear with the measures being drawn by the government as prevention such as:  stepping down on the foot mats with disinfectant provided at the airport and seaports, spraying their vehicles with disinfectant, actual inspection on their hand carry bags with the help of the snipping dogs.

Abisado admitted that they need additional dogs from the eight they have been using now in the Panglao Bohol International Airport, Tagbilaran, Jagna and Ubay Seaports at two dogs each. There have been no dogs in the seaports of Getafe, Talibon and Tubigon.

Dr. Lapiz bared that the PGBh is in a hurry to acquire another sniffing dog to help this drive to protect the livelihood among 48, 000 hog backyard raisers.

Uy said the Alturas Group of Companies since the ASF hit the country, acquired dogs being used at the Panglao Airport and allocated P45,000 monthly as maintenance sustenance.

      They asked the barangay officials to include in the agenda during the synchronized barangay assembly and the media to help in the information dissemination in the drive against ASF. (reports from Atoy Cosap)