In its latest bulletin, the DA’s Crisis Management Task Force said the emergency fund, which will be used to effectively manage, control and contain the threat of ASF, was approved by President Duterte during the Cabinet meeting last week.
AFP
P78 million allotted for ASF control measures
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Animal industry (BAI), is allocating P78 million for biosecurity and quarantine measures amid the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in some areas in the country.

In its latest bulletin, the DA’s Crisis Management Task Force said the emergency fund, which will be used to effectively manage, control and contain the threat of ASF, was approved by President Duterte during the Cabinet meeting last week.

The fund will be used for biosecurity and quarantine operations, disease monitoring and surveillance, upgrading of laboratories, capacity building and other disease control measures.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar yesterday said the National ASF Task Force (NATF) would also convene to flesh out inter-agency coordination, in partnership with concerned local government units (LGUs) and the private sector.

The NATF is chaired by the President, with the DA as vice-chair and lead agency. Last week, Dar announced that the recent deaths of hogs in Rizal and Bulacan were caused by the ASF virus, as confirmed by laboratory results from the World Organization for Animal Health in the United Kingdom.

After receiving the results, the DA Crisis Management Team (CMT) on Swine oriented all the DA regional directors in Luzon on the ASF virus, and provided them guidelines on how to manage, contain and control the disease.

“They were tasked to communicate the same to their respective provincial city and municipal LGUs through their veterinary officers,” the DA said.

Dar also instructed other DA regional directors in the Visayas and Mindanao to submit their respective disaster management plans to prevent the possible spread of ASF in their areas.

The DA said it plans to meet with concerned governors and their respective veterinary officers to align the LGU’s local issuances and corresponding actions vis-à-vis national guidelines by the expanded CMT, such as the private sector and the DA, for a concerted effort with the NATF.

Dar earlier reported that 7,416 pigs in the one-kilometer radius in ASF areas in Rizal and Bulacan have already been depopulated, following the 1-7-10 protocol of the DA to manage, contain and control the spread of the disease.

While the death of hogs in Rizal and Bulacan may be considered outbreaks, Dar earlier emphasized that there is no ASF epidemic nationwide.

“Specifically, ASF was already contained in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo and Antipolo in Rizal – and not in the entire country,” Dar said.

He said continuous strict surveillance is being conducted in areas near ASF-infected barangays in Rizal and Bulacan.

Apart from the two areas, Dar previously confirmed that more areas in Central Luzon have been quarantined due to suspected cases of ASF.

Meanwhile, in Malolos, Bulacan, backyard raiser Alejandro Roque from Barangay Santor said that a total of 21 of his swine livestock have died in the past three days, with 10 more exhibiting signs of disease. Personnel from the DA have taken blood samples to determine if his livestock are afflicted with ASF.

Roque says the swine that died were buried six feet below ground, following anti-ASF protocol on carcass disposal.

P1-billion fund to fight ASF

Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate finance committee, said yesterday that the DA should use its P1-billion Quick Response Fund under this year’s Calamity Fund to help stop the spread of ASF.

“This ASF is by all accounts a calamity. It may not have the dramatic footage that typhoons create, but in terms of damage to livelihood and the households affected, it is just as damaging,” the senator said.

Angara said funding for anti-ASF measures can be sourced from the P20- billion National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, more commonly known as the Calamity Fund, in the General Appropriations Act for 2020. – With Paolo Romero, Miriam Desacada, Ramon Efren Lazaro

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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