CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Seven roasted pigs were the main course in a boodle fight conducted at the public market of this city on Wednesday noontime to show that pork products being sold here are safe to eat and not ASF virus-infected,
Malolos City Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian together with some members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod led by City Councilors Nino Bautista, Rico Capule, Miguel Carlos Soto, Ega Domingo, Kiko Castro, and Luis Alfonso Arcega together with city meat vendors association joined the lunchtime treat that was enthusiastically participated in by consumers and market tenants.
Bernardine Pascual, president of the Malolos City Public Market meat section, told Philippine News Agency that ever since the African Swine Fever (ASF) has tested positive in a stockyard in Barangay Pritil in Guiguinto town, prices of pork products has gone down from P200 a kilo to P160 a kilo.
“The sales of pork products here have gone down by around 80 percent based on his estimate and our products were really affected by the ASF virus,” Pascual said.
Meanwhile, Gatchalian said that blood samples of scores dead swine in Barangay Panasahan, Tikay, and Santor last month have been sent to Europe for analysis for the presence of the ASF virus.
If the blood samples tested positive for the ASF virus, the mayor said that the 1-7-10 protocol on quarantine will be implemented in the city.
On Saturday, a lechon boodle fight was also conducted in Barangay Manggahan in the town of Santa Maria that was initiated by village chieftain Rey Castro.
Castro said the boodle fight was made to assure the public that swines raised by backyard raisers in their barangay are not affected by the ASF disease.
Santa Maria councilor Ynah Castro explained that strict monitoring of all piggeries in the town is being undertaken to preempt the spread of the viral disease in the said town.
Meanwhile, almost a month from now, pigs from commercial farms and backyards in the towns of Guiguinto, San Miguel and the City of Malolos, died mysteriously.
The latest is reported in Pandi town with more than 1,000 killed while 1,000 in Pulilan town and 1,700 in Plaridel town and the rest were not yet reported by the local municipalities to the provincial government office.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently confirmed that pigs that died in Guiguinto town were positive for ASF virus and followed a statement by barangay officials of Bulihan town of Plaridel that ASF disease also caused the death of thousands of swine here just last week.
The data could not be confirmed because the provincial veterinary office did not give a statement about it, and some local officials also did not want to provide an update regarding dead pigs and culled swine in their respective areas.
On Monday the DA stated that around 20,000 dead pigs had been culled from the provinces of Bulacan and Pangasinan but the source added that in Bulacan alone, over 20,000 dead swine had been culled but this report did not reach the office of the DA.
According to Fernando, they also closely monitor every movement of hog raisers in the province and ensure that no pigs will ever come out and enter Bulacan province to protect other hog raisers here or the hog industry in the other provinces.
They are also strictly implementing the 1-7-10 protocol in the areas were the ASF has confirmed to preempt and prevent the spread of the swine virus.
The governor also urged backyard hog raisers to notify their municipal veterinary and agriculture officers immediately if any symptoms show on their pigs so that action can be taken immediately and they can avail financial assistance from the government. (RONDA Balita Online News)