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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Surigao Norte stakeholders intensify campaign vs ASF

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Jun. 15  – Following the reported outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country, concerned agencies continue to reinforce stringent measures to protect the public against the threat of ASF.

Just recently, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Surigao del Norte Station, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Bureau of Animal Industry, and Provincial Veterinary Office have intensified the conduct of a random inspection dubbed as “Bantay ASF sa Pantalan.”

The said inspection is in consonance with the marching order of the Provincial Governor of Surigao del Norte through an Executive Order No. 21-020 series of 2021 otherwise known as “An Order Establishing the Guidelines and Protocols to Prevent the Entry of African Swine Fever into the province of Surigao del Norte."

PCG Surigao del Norte Coast Guard Station Commander Elaine R. Pangilinan said the activity was purposely to strictly regulate the transport of live hogs, pork, and pork by-products particularly in seaports which intend to be transported bound for Siargao Island.

She said beforehand, the team conducted a short briefing in order to have an organized and systemic inspection plan which started by checking of pertinent documents of cargoes at the points of entries particularly Gate 7 of Macapagal Port Terminal, Surigao City and then, the team proceeded to Port Integrated Clearance Office (PICO) at the Surigao Baseport wherein issuance of shipping permits from Bureau of Animal Industry is located.

“We appealed to the general public its full cooperation and support against the fight of ASF that will lead to an ASF-FREE Surigao del Norte,” Pangilinan said.

The team has also conducted inspection at the Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal in which the passenger entrance and the security screening procedure are situated.

Meanwhile, the team led by PCG Surigao del Norte Vessel Safety Enforcement Inspection (VSEI) Team conducted a thorough inspection to all vessels particularly those bound for Siargao Island.

On the course of inspection, the team intercepted pork by-products specifically pork meat and processed meat inside a box without any necessary permits in the possession of a certain passenger which was eventually confiscated.

The master of the vessel was given a stern warning and likewise reminded to adhere to the Executive Order by not accepting any cargoes without permits.

After the inspection, the team conducted a post-assessment analysis in order to improve the screening procedures against ASF. (PCG-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)