SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Several provincial and city/municipal LGUs in Bicol have step up efforts in support of DA’s Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BaBay ASF) Program to control the African Swine Fever that has infected 65 cities/municipalities of the region in 2020-2021.

As of this writing, 39 cities/municipalities of Bicol are officially recovered from ASF and progressed from red zone to pink zone, following complete surveillance and monitoring and implementation of the sentinelling program of DA.

Zone progression from red to pink zone by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) requires the LGUs to submit a copy of municipal/city ordinance or executive order on the adoption of BaBay ASF Program; city/municipal farmers’ registry including proof of the existence of farmers’ coops or associations, if there is any and RSBSA registration; summary of ASF history in the municipality including outbreak, surveillance, and disease control measures; and list of training on Swine Biosecurity attended by farmers and LGU staff.

Aside from active surveillance in areas affected by ASF, the LGUs also shouldered the indemnity for hogs culled due to ASF.

In Camarines Norte, the cash assistance for ASF-affected swine raisers was already distributed by the Provincial LGU of Camarines Norte last January 30, 2023. The distribution was held in Daet, Camarines Norte where 120 swine raisers received P5,000 each amounting to P600,000 . The beneficiaries were those affected by ASF starting in January 2022 when the payment of indemnification was transferred to PCIC.

In Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon, the MLGU provided P5,000 indemnity each to some 125 farmers totaling P625,000.00. The amount of P290,000.00 came from the LGU funds and the remaining P335,000.00 was provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (DSWD AICS).In Irosin Sorsogon the PLGU/MLGU paid P3,917,000.00 indemnity to 66 farmers for all hogs that were depopulated. The MLGU provided the amount of P1,802,000.00 and the remaining P2,115,000.00 was shouldered by PLGU.

In Calabanga, the LGU will pay P100,000 to 5 farmers whose swine were culled recently due to the ASF incursion in a backyard farm in Sto. Domingo, Calabanga, Cam, Sur.

Starting in 2021 the indemnification program for ASF-affected hogs was transferred to the Philippine Crops Insurance Corporation (PCIC). The PCIC swine insurance program offers free premium payments for backyard hog raisers and discounted premiums for commercial hog raisers. Under the PCIC Livestock Insurance Program, RSBSA-listed swine raisers are qualified to insure for free and to receive indemnification of up to P14,500 per head for swine breeder (1-10 head maximum) and up to P10,000 for swine fattener (1-20 heads maximum).

Previously, the DA Bicol has mobilized its resources to help the local government units address ASF problems in their respective areas. The DA Bicol has paid a total of P87.9 Million as indemnification to 3,530 hog raisers who were affected by ASF from 2020 to 2021.

The DA Bicol has also distributed 2,195 sentinel pigs to 2,192 farmers and is halfway through its calibrated swine repopulation wherein each hog raiser was given 3 piglets and 6 bags of feeds. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)