CAMALIGAN, CAM.SUR – Thirty nine (39) backyard swine raisers from seven (7) barangays of this municipality were paid indemnification amounting to P960,000,00 by the Department of Agriculture Bicol over the week. These were the owners of the 192 hogs depopulated as part of the protocol to stem the spread of the African Swine Fever which has already affected 10 municipalities in the province. The infected barangays in said municipality identified within the 1 kilometer radius of the infected site or ground zero include San Roque, San Juan, San Marcos, Sto. Domingo, Marupit, San Francisco and Tarosanan.
This brings to a total of 5,554 heads of pigs owned by 1,133 raisers with a total indemnification value of P27,770,000 already paid for via Fully-Verified system by the DA –Bicol since it started paying the affected owners last April 8, 2020 immediately after it received the requested budget totaling P27,770,00 from the DA Central Office. It has forwarded its second fund request and awaiting its release. The affected swine raisers from Bombon, Calabanga, Magarao, , Naga City, Minalabac and Canaman and Camaligan which have completed the depopulation protocol have already been paid for by the DA . Depopulation is still on-going for the municipalities of Cabusao, Gainza and Pamplona .
During the recent meeting of the DA Regional Quick Response Team (RQRT) which is overseeing the prevention, management and control of emerging animal diseases including the ASF , Regional Technical Director for Regulations and Research and presiding officer Dr. Edgar A. Madrid noted some lapses in the enforcement of the animal quarantine protocol. He said that the focus of the checkpoints manned by the PNP were on the restriction of human movement to control the spread of the COVID 19 virus. As per information gathered the PNP are not authorized to open and check delivery vans or trucks as this is the a function of the Highway patrol group.
Madrid reiterated the need to focus on border control and intensify the campaign for sustained disinfection in backyard farms including in those areas where depopulation has already been completed.
Although the joint efforts of the DA, Bureau of Animal Industry, National Meat Inspection Service, Local Government Units, the Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Councils, the PNP and other NGAs I is making headway to contain, control and eradicate ASF in the region, Bicol is still considered highly vulnerable to ASF infection. Being the gateway to Visayas and Mindanao the more it should exert all efforts to control the spread of this virus. Even amid the threat and hazard posed by COVID 19 continuous surveillance and strict monitoring of the implementation of the ASF zoning restrictions, border control, and implementation of biosafety measures must be sustained to ultimately achieve an ASF free status. (EMILY B. BORDADO/DA-RAFIS 5; Photos: Emil Pasumbal)