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‘Porous’ borders a problem: Robredo suggests sealing off Bicol to hog trade to prevent ASF spread

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Vice President Leni Robredo has asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to temporarily seal the entire Bicol region off to the hog trade to avoid the spread of the African swine flu (ASF).

Robredo made the suggestion Friday (February 21) after the DA confirmed the 23 pigs which died in Bombon, Camarines Sur tested positive for ASF. This prompted the agency to order the culling of 250 hogs within the ASF-positive area and its one-kilometer radius.

Robredo said hogs in Bicol may have been infected by ASF as the region is a gateway for products transported to Visayas and Mindanao.

“Kasi masyadong porous iyong mga boundaries natin, considering na daanan siya. So iyong checkpoints, napakahalaga. Iyong pag-check ng lahat na mga binebentang mga baboy, napakahalaga,” she said.

“So ito, iyong pakiusap lang natin, DA, kasi under ito sa kaniyang jurisdiction, na hindi lang sa CamSur iyong i-seal at the borders, pero pati siguro iyong buong Bicol Region, considering na ang dami talagang dumadaan sa atin na hindi naman sa atin iyong end result,” Robredo added.

The Vice President admitted to being worried for Naga, Camarines Sur’s capital since it was only three towns away from Bombon. She urged local governments within the Bicol region to coordinate with one another to spread ASF cases from increasing.

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