Provincial gov’t to give cash aid to ASF-hit hog raisers

An African Swine Fever checkpoint in Pavia, Iloilo. (Photo from Pavia News Updates FB page)

By John Noel E. Herrera

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said that the provincial government will give financial assistance to hog raisers affected by African Swine Fever (ASF).

In a press conference on Nov 24, 2022, Defensor explained that the cash aid will be given to farm owners, (individuals/family/company/cooperative) whose farms have been subjected to swine depopulation conducted by or under the supervision of the local ASF Task Force.

The farms referred to include those subjected to depopulation after being identified as ASF Infected Property (IP); farms within the 500-meter radius of the index case; farms within the quarantine area or the one-kilometer radius, and farms with suspected or probable ASF cases.

The governor also said that the amount of cash aid to be received by the farmers will depend on the “graduated number or swine heads, whether sow, fattener or young swine”, while only one farm owner per farm should be recognized as a beneficiary.

For example, P7,000 will be given to the farmer who had one to five hog heads that were depopulated or eliminated; P10,000 for six to 10 heads; P15,000 for 11 to 15 heads; P20,000 for 16 to 20 heads; P25,000 for 21 to 25 heads, and P30,000 for 26 heads and above.

The farm must also be subjected to disease investigation and the depopulation must be documented using the Disease Investigation Form, ASF Depopulation Form, and Masterlist of Depopulation to be granted cash assistance.

The provincial government clarified that those farms that conducted swine depopulation due to suspected ASF cases, but not under the supervision of the Provincial/Municipal/City ASF Task Force “shall not be qualified for the financial assistance.

Defensor also issued Executive Order No. 545 implementing Pork Festival Kontra ASF, which is a program on “prevention, containment, depopulation and recovery measures against ASF in Iloilo Province.”

He emphasized that the point of the festival is to create events related to ASF awareness and pork processing lectures, and to “work with the municipalities to stimulate the consumption so that we eventually recover and repopulate.”

“Ang pork festival damo na siya components, may containment, may prevention because we will have a campaign on biosecurity measures against ASF for our backyard raisers, we will have trainings, orientation, and seminars,” the governor said.

The EO also mandated that towns in the Red (Infected) and Pink (Buffer) zones are encouraged to hold ‘PorkFest Kontra ASF’ events and shall implement the following measures and activities:

(a.) Conduct trainings/seminars and provide other forms of assistance on biosecurity measures and animal husbandry practices with Convergence Partners to strengthen the swine/pork industry, and enable the stakeholders to maximize movement and allowed trade under DA-AC No. 02-2022;

(b.) Conduct trainings/seminars with Convergence Partners on pork processing in order to create value chains, generate employment and business, and further the development of the swine/pork industry;

(c.) Hold PorkFest Kontra ASF events/activities with Convergence Partners to facilitate the consumption of pork as an additional pre-emptive depopulation measure; Provided that, the slaughter/movement of live swine and pork for such events/activities shall strictly follow protocols under DA-AC 22- 2022, and such other required quarantine and biosecurity measures.

Section 5 of the EO also stated that in order to lower the status of areas tagged as ‘red zone’, they should complete a rest period for three months, which includes cleaning and disinfection within 30 days; downtime and bioassay within 20 days, and sentinel animals for 40 days.

The following guidelines should also be complied with by the identified ‘red zone’ areas to lower their status to ‘pink zone’ ASF zoning classification:

-There must be no new ASF outbreaks within the previously ASF-affected barangay as evidenced by weekly negative monitoring and active surveillance using any Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) validated/accredited screening test kit.

(i.) Within one kilometer (1 km.), active surveillance must be performed every thirty (30) days until released from quarantine (if there are existing swine farm(s) in the area).

(ii.) Outside one kilometer active surveillance, through community sampling every thirty (30) days must be performed until the farm can be released from quarantine.

(iii.) Weekly monitoring reports for all barangays in the city/municipality must be submitted.

-The owner must agree to strictly follow protocol for repopulation, biosecurity, monitoring and surveillance.

-Sentinel animals must show negative results in the PCR Test for ASF prior to repopulation.

Data from Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office indicated that Iloilo Province has 270 confirmed ASF cases out of 482 tested samples, including 206 in Oton, 42 in San Miguel, 10 in Leganes, four in Mina, three each in Alimodian and New Lucena, and two in Santa Barbara, as of Nov 21, 2022.

A total of 45 barangays were affected, including 31 in Oton, six in San Miguel, four in Leganes, two in New Lucena, and one each in Alimodian and Santa Barbara, while the number of affected farmers is now at 178, and 1,579 hogs were already depopulated.


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