Visayas puts additional measures against ASF
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Central and Western Visayas are putting up additional measures to keep their hog industry safe from the African Swine Fever (ASF).
The Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) is stepping up border controls in Siquijor, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Bohol, against the entry of hogs from ASF-hit areas.
“We are actively coordinating our efforts with the local government units (LGUs) to ensure there is no letting up in our efforts to make sure the ASF won’t enter our region,” said Atty. Salvador Diputado, the director of DA-7.
This he said during the Mugstoria Ta, an online conversation hosted by Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV).
Diputado has recommended to all provincial government and highly urbanized cities of the region to establish barangay-based quick reactions teams tasked to contain just in case any possible transmission of the animal viral disease.
Aside from enforcing stringent entry restrictions on live hogs, Diputado also raised the need to discourage the transport of processed meat into the region by traveling individuals.
The regional DA has also ordered the creation of a database on backyard hog raisers for monitoring and tracking purposes.
“This mechanism should be put in place as one of our measures,” he said.
Wester Visayas has also tightened its import controls from other regions to protect its P20-billion hog industry.
The DA Regional Office in Western Visayas (DA-6) has been coordinating with hog raisees down to the barangay levels for reports of suspicious or sudden deaths among hogs.
Engineer Remelyn Recoter, executive director of DA-6, said they have also launched an information drive that discourages individuals from buying pork products online.
The two regions have remained untouched by the ASF and continues to provide pork products to other regions suffering shortage due to the disease.
Eastern Visayas is so far the only region in the Visayas that has confirmed cases of ASF. To date, local authorities have culled some 4,150 pigs in the region due to ASF.
Angel Enriquez, regional director of DA Regional Office in Eastern Visayas (DA-8), revealed that there are now eight municipalities in Eastern Visayas with confirmed cases of ASF.
She said they have since stepped up the border controls in the affected areas to contain the transmission of the viral disease.
With this, she has appealed to the local government of Ormoc to allow live hogs to pass through the city to transport them to Luzon.
While the region is battling the ASF, she also stressed that transport of live hogs coming from Mindanao that need to pass through Eastern Visayas need not be impeded.
Ormoc is one of the more important routes of Mindanao-sourced hogs for the Luzon market.
Enriquez said they have ensured that only those hogs coming from ASF-free regions will be able to pass through the entry points of the region, particularly in Ormoc.
She explained that land transport remains the ideal means to move live hogs because it’s cheaper than having to transport them via sea.
President Rodrigo Duterte has recently imposed a ceiling to curb the runaway prices of pork and chicken.
Aside from the price cap, the government was also looking at sourcing pork from Visayas and Mindanao to boost the supply in Luzon, based on earlier reports.
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