ILOILO City – A national television reported the other day that the siomai from Rizal province confiscated here tested positive for the African swine fever (ASF) virus.
Not true, stressed the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas.
Specimens from the seized siomai were transported to Metro Manila for laboratory analysis only yesterday, clarified Regional Director Remelyn Recoter.
Western Visayas thus remains ASF-free, according to Recoter.
“Careful gid dapat ang aton media people sa pagbalita,” said Recoter, because wrong information could adversely affect the local hog industry.
This is a billion peso industry, she stressed, “kag diri sa Western Visayas mga 80 percent ang backyard hog-raisers.”
ASF causes high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhage, and death among domestic and wild pigs.
Eleven packs of pork siomai from Antipolo City in Rizal province were confiscated at the Iloilo Terminal Market, popularly known as “Super”, on Oct. 30 by personnel of the city government’s Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).
There is an ASF outbreak in Rizal.
Recoter did not say when the result of the laboratory analysis on the siomai – or shumai, a type of traditional Chinese dumpling – would be released.
According to Recoter, the regional director of DA-Calabarzon or Region 4-A called her about the national television report on the confiscated siomai.
“Ang appeal sang regional director nga mag-careful ang media kay very sensitive ina nga issue didto. Nakalugmok sila didto because of ASF tapos unfair nga ma-conclude dayun sa news,” said Recoter.
She then appealed to local government units to be vigilant on the entry of pork and by-products from ASF-hit areas, especially the smuggled ones, via seaports.
“Kon sudlan kita diri, ano na lang?” said Recoter. “Kon kis-a, may batasan ang Filipino nga kon makalusot, malusot gid. Amo gani sa tanan, kabalo naman kita sang epekto sang ASF, mapalusot pa gid sang mga ginabawal.”
Citing DA Region 6’s inventory, Recoter valued hogs in the region at over P6 billion in total.
Making a broad public appeal, Recoter said, “Gina hinyo gid naton nga indi magdala pork and pork products diri sa Western Visayas from ASF-hit areas.”/PN