TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, May 12 -- To help the swine raisers in Barangay Matho of Cortes, Surigao del Sur, who have been affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) make a comeback, the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Caraga turned over the indemnification fund to the Local Government of Cortes, on Tuesday, May 11.
The cash assistance for the 61 households amounted to Php785,000.00 covering 157 pigs culled during the conduct of depopulation in November of last year. Barangay Matho was the first area in the region with a reported case of ASF.
Cortes Municipal Mayor Josie Bonifacio, who received the indemnification fund, thanked the DA for keeping its commitment to provide the cash assistance to help the affected swine raisers get back up from the setback.
"I personally saw how they were affected when their pigs, which were their means of livelihood, were taken away to be culled. But thankfully, because the situation and the protocol were explained well to them, they cooperated," Mayor Bonifacio said.
On the other hand, DA Carga Regional Technical Director Rebecca R. Atega, who led the turn-over, said that aside from the cash assistance, the DA also initially gave 10 heads of chicken to every affected household and will be giving additional 20 heads more. She also said that the DA is still looking into giving more support to help revive the livestock industry in the town.
After the turn-over, Dr. Toni Rose Barroga of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Central Office discussed briefly the swine repopulation guidelines. She emphasized on following the procedures that include cleaning and disinfection, downtime and bioassay, and placing of sentinel animals before the area can be released from quarantine.
Cleaning and disinfection are done within 30 days after depopulation. After cleaning and disinfection, a downtime of 30 days shall be implemented to decrease the area's bacterial load and the risk of ASF virus residue.
The ASF Composite Team which includes staff from the Bureau of Animal Industry - Central Office and Mindanao Cluster (Regions 11,12 and 13) is in the region and will be conducting site validation and similar briefing to areas affected by ASF in the region. (Vanessa P. Sanchez , DA 13 - RAFIS/PIA-Surigao del Sur)