Tacloban City — The Eastern Samar provincial government has formed an inter-agency African swine fever (ASF) task force to control the entry of deadly swine disease.

The task force includes key personnel from the Provincial Governor’s Office, Provincial Veterinary Office, Provincial Health Office, Philippine National Police, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Governor Ben Evardone signed Executive Order 09-113 on September 3 that prevents the importation of live hogs to the province without the necessary documents, such as veterinary permit and health certificate. The signed EO was posted on the provincial government’s official social media account.

“Shipment lacking the required documents shall be directed to return to their point of origin,” the order stated.

Vendors of pork and pork-related products must secure a certificate of meat inspection from the National Meat Inspection Service as ordered by the signed Executive Order.

Municipal agriculture personnel, police personnel, and village watchmen will conduct various checkpoints in key points, such as the towns of Lawaan, Guiuan, Taft, Oras, and Arteche to observe and control the entry of hogs to the province.

The issued EO was done in compliance with the administrative order of Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Meanwhile, Borongan City Mayor Jose Ivan Agda issued a similar EO to prevent the entry of any swine products to the city within 30 days.

Only 20 percent of swine meat products comes from local hog producers while Davao and other areas in Mindanao contributed a lot for the supply of hogs in Borongan City by 80 percent.

The city veterinary office will confiscate live swine and other meat by-products who violated the EO. (RJ Espartinez)