MANILA – An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday assured that the Philippines does not import swine or pork products from China.

DA Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes made the statement following reports that Chinese researchers have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic.

According to the study, the virus named G4 descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a global outbreak in 2009.

“Ina-assure po ng DA, through the BAI (Bureau of Animal Industry), na tayo po ay wala pa nito at hindi po tayo nag i-import ng baboy at pork products from China. Hindi pa po pwede (The DA, through the BAI, assures that we still don’t have this [disease] and we do not import hogs and pork products from China. It is still not allowed),” Reyes said during a virtual briefing.

He reminded the public to report any unusual pig mortalities to farm veterinarians or the nearest government veterinary and agricultural office and to consult a physician when experiencing flu-like symptoms.

“Reports on flu-like symptoms have been increasing this rainy season and this could affect both the agricultural workers and our swine production,” Reyes said. “Ipatawag niyo po sa nearest government office nyo dyan sa ating mga munisipyo at i-consult ho ang physician doon sa mga veterinary offices (Call your nearest government office in the municipality and consult the physicians in veterinary offices).”

He said the DA also urged local swine farm owners to consult their licensed veterinarian to review farm biosafety and biosecurity programs. (PNA)