CAMALIGAN, Camarines Sur, June 1 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional field office has already paid 39 backyard swine raisers from seven barangays of this municipality amounting to P960,000.00 as indemnification for 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.
According to DA Bicol regional executive director Rodel P. Tornilla said a total of 5,554 hogs owned by 1,133 raisers with a total indemnification value of P27,770,000.00 were already compensated since DA Bicol started paying the affected owners last April 8 this year immediately after receiving the requested budget totaling to P27,770,000.00 from the DA central office.
DA Bicol has also forwarded the second fund request and awaiting its release.
Barangays in said municipality 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.
The affected swine raisers from Naga City and towns of Bombon, Calabanga, Magarao, Minalabac and Canaman and Camaligan that completed the depopulation protocol were also paid indemnification. Depopulation is still on-going for the Cabusao, Gainza and Pamplona towns.
During the recent meeting of the DA Regional Quick Response Team (RQRT) that 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 such as focus of the checkpoints manned by the police personnel were on the restriction of human movement to control the spread of the COVID 19 virus.
According to Madrid, per information gathered revealed that police personnel are not authorized to open and check delivery vans or trucks as this is a function of the personnel of Highway Patrol group.
Madrid reiterated the need to focus on border control and intensify the campaign for sustained disinfection in backyard farms including within those areas where depopulation has already been completed.
Tornilla said although the joint efforts of the DA, Bureau of Animal Industry, National Meat Inspection Service, local government units, Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Councils, the PNP and other national govewrnment agencies are making headway to contain, control and eradicate ASF in the region, Bicol remains 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. 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. (EBBordado-DARFO5/PIAV)