Marikina River free of ASF virus, fishes safe for human consumption, mayor says

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Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro
Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro. (File photo)

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro on Wednesday declared that Marikina River is free from the African swine fever (ASF) virus and that the fishes are safe to eat.

“Based on the ASF virus analysis of the Laguna Lake Development Authority [LLDA], Marikina River tested negative for ASF,” the mayor said.

There were a total of 65 pig carcasses retrieved from the Marikina River since last month. The carcasses started to surface on September 12.

Teodoro said that they were wondering why there were dead pigs floating in the river, saying there’s no piggery or slaughter house along the river bank.

The mayor said that their hard work paid off in retrieving  the carcasses of the pigs “that’s why the level of contamination is not so much.”

“We were able to remove 65 carcasses from the river,” he added.

The LLDA took water samples from three stations, namely, Circulo Verde in Pasig; boundary of Jesus de la Peña and Santa Elena; and Bayabas Street  in Barangay Nangka.

The clinical laboratory report submitted to the local government of Marikina was signed by LLDA General Manager Jaime Medina.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) told Teodoro that the fishes in the city’s river are safe to eat.

The report of BFAR showed that pollutants in Marikina River increased but not to the point that it went beyond the regulatory limit of the Food and Drug Administration.

The BFAR test showed that there is no longer presence of salmonella, staphylococcus aureus and E.coli.

Teodoro also informed around 300 fishermen about the good news.

“I lifted the fish ban based on the report conducted by BFAR. Iyon ang naging [That was my] basis…to lift the fishing ban. Fishermen and residents are now allowed to fish and swim in the river,” the mayor said.

The probe seeking to find where the pig carcasses came from is still ongoing.

Teodoro assured that people behind the dumping of pig carcasses in Marikina River will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

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Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco is a grant recipient and fellow of 2017 media fellowship program by Probe Media Foundation Inc. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Mass Communication from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). After graduating in 2000 she immediately worked as a newspaper correspondent for Today Newspaper until 2005. Within those five years in Today Newspaper, she was assigned to cover the Eastern Police and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Rizal Province, and the Departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Tourism (DOT). In October of 2005, she became a correspondent for the Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing, Inc. She covers Health, Education, MMDA, the local government units in the eastern and southern portions of the metropolis, and Rizal Province.

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