Piñol sacks NAIA quarantine group: "Kung gusto, maraming paraan; Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan."



Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol sacks NAIA Quarantine team / photo file from Google (ctto)


Manila, Philippines – Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Friday announced that he will relieve the entire personnel of the Department of Agriculture's Quarantine Group at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for disobeying his earlier order on the implementation of quarantine procedures against the African Swine Fever or ASF.

The Agriculture chief said that personnel will be fired effective 5 p.m. on Friday.



“I will issue the order today even as I am here in the Bicol Region personally assessing the damage of Tropical Depression Usman and ensuring immediately delivery of interventions,” Piñol said in a Facebook post

“(t)he relief of the whole Quarantine Team at the NAIA should send a clear message to members of the Department of Agriculture (DA) family that we cannot take Administrative Directives for granted.” He said

Piñol also ordered an investigation to determine whether the officers could be charged with neglect of duty.

The African Swine Fever, caused by virus, is a highly-contagious swine disease that had already wrecked havoc among swine farmers in many countries and is being monitored since last year.

The dreaded disease already spread in China, with more than 8,000 pigs had been infected recently and over half of the numbers died.

ASF disease is said to be difficult to detect unless in its advance stage as there was no sign among the infected hogs.

Piñol said that right after the outbreak as early as last year, the Agriculture immediately established a plan of action to prevent any entry of the disease in the country.

“Shortly before the holidays, I ordered Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Acting Director Ronnie Domingo to ensure that footbaths and other Quarantine measures are established in all entry points of the country as the dreaded ASF, a disease killing pigs in at least eight countries, was reported spreading in China,” he said.

Piñol said his directive was for all Quarantine Stations “to establish Footbaths in all entry points of the country, the interception and confiscation of all pork-based products,”


“Upon reading the report, I immediately called up Dr. Domingo and confronted him about it. Dr. Domingo admitted that the NAIA Quarantine Group failed to establish the Footbath facility "because of procurement issues" and it was the only station which failed to implement the directives,” he said.

“This an alibi which I will never accept as I have always believed in the Pilipino saying: "Kung gusto, maraming paraan; Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan."” He added

With this, Piñol apologized “to the stakeholders of the hog industry for this administrative lapse.”


Source: PNA 


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