Cebu News

4 more areas in province also affected: ASF in Cebu City

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Bureau of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture reported that African Swine Fever (ASF) has been detected in Cebu City, Liloan, Sibonga, Tuburan, and Bogo City in the province of Cebu.

According to BAI, the sample collection was conducted in backyard farms by the respective local government units (LGUs) as part of the disease investigation and surveillance.

Samples were then submitted to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (RADDL) Region VII and tested using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), the gold standard for testing and confirming the ASF virus.

“The BAI continues to coordinate with DA Regional Field Office VII and LGUs to gather data and reports on other areas with suspected cases of ASF as part of a traceback investigation to determine the extent of the outbreak in the province,” said BAI in its Facebook post.

Tuburan outbreak 'contained'

But Tuburan Mayor Aljun Diamante said that they have already contained the spread of ASF in his town.

“Okay na, gamay ra man kaayo and dali ra na contained,” the mayor said when asked as to the extent of ASF in his town.

Diamante said that they were already informed last week about the presence of ASF in his town.

The mayors had gathered all the hog raisers in his town yesterday for a meeting.

On the other hand in Danao City, even if there are no findings of ASF cases in the city yet, Michelle Mondigo, the public information officer, said that since the ASF hit first in Carcar City, Cebu, their city have been conducting checkpoint for ASF and hot meats and an additional checkpoints were set-up in some access roads in Danao City connecting to Compostela, Carmen and Asturias.

“Daghang gipangdeploy ang lgu nga personnels and with the help sa barangay aron naay makabantay to check requirements to pass/enter Danao. Apil na pud ang sa processed meat,” Mondigo added.

She added that the city government also met with their hog raisers and meat vendors with the proper protocols to help the latter to report any illegal activities concerning the ASF cases.

“Naay mga hisgot for disinfections and all gitun-an pa if practical. We are waiting for the latest zoning classification and notice of meeting but we have put up border control since the Carcar outbreak,” Mondigo further said.

The Freeman tried to contact other local chief executives in the affected towns but the latter were not available for comments as of press time.

Enough Supply

On the other hand, Jonathan Young, president of Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo), said that so far there is still enough of pork supply in the region despite the onslaught of ASF in Cebu.

“So far daghan pa man ta og supply sa pork although among nahibaw-an nga medyo nimahal na siya sa kamerkaduhan based sa report sa media but sa farm gate mao ra man gihapon ang presyo,” Young said.

For his part, Atty. Donato Villa Jr., Cebu provincial legal officer, said the Capitol will make good with its earlier plan to come up with its own protocol on the matter.

"In reply to the Press Statement of the BAI on their plan to continue with their protocol to color code the Cebu LGUs as part of ASF prevention, the Province of Cebu will proceed with its plan to formulate its own protocol considering that the protocol the BAI will be implementing is unrealistic and has not gone through consultation with the LGUs and the Province of Cebu in compliance with Section 2(c),  Section 25(b), Section 27 of the Local Government Code," the legal officer said.

Villa said they should be reminded that they are obliged to consult and involve the LGUs and the Province of Cebu in the planning and implementation of any program or policy in accordance with the afore-quoted provisions of the Local Government Code.

"Moreover, they should also be reminded of the power and duty of the Governor under Section 465 to file cases against national agency officials who may have committed an offense in connection with their functions and obligations," he added.

The BAI said that it continues to issue its zoning map and report detections of ASF in the country based on the Department of Agriculture Administrative Circular No. 2, Series of 2022 (National Zoning and Movement Plan for the Prevention and Control of African Swine Fever) to guide the movement of swine and related commodities across different zones in the country.

This is also for the reference of areas in the country that remain ASF-free and recovering from effects of the disease.

ASF is a deadly and highly contagious disease of pigs.

“Prevention and control of the virus remains challenging since there is no available vaccine yet,” it said.

The World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommend the implementation of depopulation or culling of affected and exposed swine within a 1-kilometer radius.

Taking into consideration the Philippine situation and the devastating effects to the livelihood of our backyard farmers and hog industry, BAI said that the government has reduced the depopulation area to 500 meters.

BAI Protocol

The BAI added that through the National ASF Prevention and Control Program (NASFPCP) has been implementing this protocol recognizing the burden that ASF has given to our countrymen.

“The depopulation policy is recognized worldwide as the most logical and tested means to contain the virus in the affected area,” it said, adding that the protocols which are being implemented by the BAI are evidenced-based actions and proven to be the best option as of date while there is still no approved vaccine.

It said that it continues to work closely with other government agencies, local governments, provincial governments, up to the grassroots level to inculcate the responsibility of preventing ASF from spreading further in the country.

The responsibility, it said, lies not only among the implementers but also among the hog farmers, consumers, travelers, traders and the public who are the most affected in the pandemic that is ASF.

The BAI works closely with Veterinary Offices and Agriculture Offices of the Local Government Units and DA-Regional Field Offices in the implementation of ASF prevention and control strategies.

Awareness campaigns and meetings are carried out  to ensure that the implementers are aware of what to do so as to prevent further  spread of ASF, what to expect when there is an ASF positive area, and what they can do to contain the ASF virus.

The implementation of the policies such as strict biosecurity, implementing the control strategies including depopulation and surveillance are highly dependent on the cooperation of the local government as well as the stakeholders.

On July 13, 2022, the BAI-NASFPCP conducted the African Swine Fever Preparedness Tabletop Exercises (APTTX) in Cebu City attended by the Cebu Provincial Veterinary Office, City Veterinary Office including Carcar City Veterinary Office and the different Municipal Agriculture Offices which aimed to equip the participants on how to prevent and control ASF incursion in Cebu and to protect the province’s ASF-free status.

“We understand that the affected farmers are sacrificing their livelihood and we appreciate their selflessness to follow the protocols in place.  This sacrifice does not go in vain as we work diligently and work hand in hand with you, our stakeholders, in protecting the hog industry,” it further said.  —  JMD (FREEMAN)


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with