DA, OCVET urges cooperation vs ASF

The Department of Agriculture (DA) with the local government, through its Office of the City Veterinarian, requested anew for the cooperation of barangays in observing protocols and requirements set in place to curb the African Swine Fever (ASF).

In a meeting with the Barangay Information Officers Network (BION) Thursday morning, the DA reiterated critical ASF protocols and reminders for local government and barangay leadership to strictly push and implement to enable Zamboanga City to control ASF and upgrade from its red zone status.

“Yung main objective natin dito is to contain the spread of ASF within the month of July 2022,” stressed DA9 Regulatory Division Chief Dr. Darwin Lloyd Sulay.

To date, Zamboanga City remains a red zone and can only deliver to other red zone areas, in this case, the NCR.

“It’s to elicit cooperation from each and every one of us kasi mahirap talaga siyang problema. Kung gusto nating bumalik kaagad-agad, kailangan tayong magsama-sama para magawa ang ganoong adhikain,” said Dr. Amanel L. Manalo of the Animal Health and Welfare Division Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Central Office.

The DA reminded barangays on the importance of reporting hog deaths in their area for authorities to be able to confirm and institute needed protocols.

“We have to be on the same page. We have no vaccine, no treatment for ASF. It’s the understanding of the protocol that what we’re doing is to protect the larger numbers of the population at risk,” said Dr. Manalo.

Mayor John Dalipe has vowed to intensify border inspections for swine transport and to strictly roll-out anti-ASF measures as part of the local government response. Through the OCVET, the local government will be providing assistance to affected hog-raisers in the form of financial assistance, groceries, and rice.

City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Arriola reported that the OCVET is waiting for the passage of the supplemental budget for the indemnification of hogs which were culled in depopulation initiatives. The meeting with the BIONs was jointly spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture together with the OCVET. Present were Dr. Darwin Lloyd Sulay, DA 9 Regulatory Division Chief, Dr. Darwin B. Abadilla, Regional Veterinary Quarantine Officer – BAI IX, Maria Melba B. Wee, Regional Technical Director for Policy, Planning, Research, Regulatory & Integrated Laboratories, DA-9, Dr. Amanel L. Manalo, Animal Health and Welfare Division, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Manila – Central Office, City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Arriola, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) IX, the LGU Public Information Office, and the members of the Barangay Information Officers Network (BION). (Jasmine Mohammadsali)