January 8, 2020
2 supermarkets in Metro Manila found selling ASF-tainted meat padlocked
Amid the pronouncement by the agriculture secretary earlier this month that cases of African swine fever in the Philippines have declined, two supermarkets in Metro Manila were found to be selling meat with traces of the hog disease, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
The said supermarkets had been closed and their tainted products disposed, the mayor of Quezon City, where the concerned stores are located, said.
"The disease is now reaching grocery stores and this is terrifying because there is no meat sold in supermarkets without the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) certification", Mayor Joy Belmonte was quoted as saying.
The DA has required all meat vendors to display their meat certificates on their stalls to ensure the safety of their products.
However, Steven Cua, president of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarket Association, said it was difficult for supermarket owners to determine if the pork had the NMIS certificate, as these were delivered to them already packed.
On Jan. 3, Agriculture Secretary William Dar told reporters that ASF incidence in the country had decreased, although ASF cases were still reported in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces, where the Southeast Asian nation's first outbreak of the swine disease was confirmed way back in July 2019.
He added that despite a decline in the reported cases, the outbreak declaration for the hog disease could not be lifted yet.
At least 62,000 pigs have so far been culled due to ASF, according to a Philippine Star report.