By Bernadette D. Nicolas, October 2 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) sought the help of  the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in strictly enforcing the total ban on pork products from areas struck by African swine fever (ASF).

In a letter to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, MinDA Chairman Emmanuel F. Piñol said the request was made “with urgency” following reports of hogs, pork and processed pork products still being shipped to Mindanao and the Visayas from ASF-hit areas in Luzon and other countries.

“This continues in spite of the issuances of executive orders made by Mindanao LGUs [local government units] led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio imposing a temporary ban on the entry of hogs, pork, pork products and feed materials into Mindanao,” said Piñol in his letter.

The former agriculture chief posted a copy of the letter he sent to the DILG and PNP chiefs on his Facebook account on Tuesday. Piñol said the strict enforcement of the total ban will avert the entry of the fatal hog disease in southern Philippines.

“Since local government units lack the manpower to enforce the ban, the Mindanao Development Authority is making representation on their behalf to appeal for support from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the PNP,” he said.

Piñol said the involvement of policemen will ensure stricter implementation of the ASF quarantine protocols, noting that policemen and army units were also engaged during the avian influenza (AI) outbreak in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in 2017.  “The involvement of policemen and army soldiers helped government in preventing the spread of AI which was placed under control in just one month,” he said.