By Edwin Iyo
African Swine Fever (ASF) virus can wipe out billions of pesos worth of local swine industry said Northern Mindanao Hogs Growers Association president Benjamin Albarece.
Albarece even claimed there were an alleged illegal entry of canned goods at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in Tagoloan,Misamis Oriental, particularly “Ma Ling” from China which affected by the virus.
Ma Ling from China are banned because of ASF virus, said Albarece
“Surprisingly, matingala ta ngano nakalusot man. Naa daghan sa mga malls ug groceries, sa Manila, sa CDO, everywhere,” Albarece said.
Albarece admittedly said, early February, there was confiscation happened in MICT in Tagoloan, and later on it was burned at the Mini Livestock Farm in barangay Balubal, Cagayan de Oro.
Albarece said he even witnessed the undetermined kilograms of canned goods being burned.
Albarece said that all Ma Ling that were manufactured after August 2018 to the present are to be withdrawn from the market.
“Our swine industry is roughly P220 billion in values and can be wiping out of ASF virus” Albarece said.
However, sub port collector John Simon of the Bureau of Customs based in MICT denied reports saying that no canned goods particularly Ma Ling were reportedly entered in their port.
“Walang nakakapasok na canned goods dito sa MICT na galing China,” said Simon adding that maybe in some other ports in the region.
“There are several ports in Northern Mindanao, he (Albarece) should be specific,” he said.
Simon even assured the public that no smuggled or illegal enter of canned goods particularly “Ma Ling” in the area coming from China.
He said that he was interested to talk Albarece for verification and cooperation for possible raid if any.
Simon also urged other agencies like Food and Drugs Authority, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture to monitor if there were really Ma Ling entry in MICT.
Albarece added the association is now crafting an urgent resolution urging President Rodrigo R. Duterte to declare a State of Calamity to prevent ASF from entering the country.
“Kinahanglan pud manawagan mi sa presidente tungod kay hangtod karon walay action ang mga ahensiya sa gobyerno,” Albarece said.
“Dapat ireport na sa DA or FDA para ma-withdraw sa shelves,” he added.