PILI, CAMARINES SUR (PIA)— "In Bicol, the Department of Agriculture is halfway through its calibrated swine repopulation program. The Livestock Program has begun to distribute piglets to hog raisers previously affected by ASF in order to help the hog industry recover completely," said DA RFO 5 Spokesperson Lovella P. Guarin.
Out of the 65 ASF-affected municipalities from 2020 to 22, 36 towns are now in the “pink zones” which means they are now certified ASF-free as per DA’s declaration. This represents 55% of the total affected areas.
Guarin confirmed to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Camarines Sur that the DA intends to distribute 4,275 piglets to affected hog raisers to help them fully recover from the losses incurred during the agency's massive depopulation of ASF-affected swines.
As of press time, DA Livestock Program Regional Coordinator Marissa Guillermo reported that 3,345 piglets had already been distributed to 23 municipalities: ten in Camarines Sur, nine in Albay, one in Camarines Norte, and three in Sorsogon.
From 2020 to 2022, Guarin said that 65 municipalities in the region were hardly hit by the spread of ASF. Of the provinces in the region, Camarines Sur has the highest number of towns affected with the dreaded disease with 25 towns, followed by Camarines Norte with ten (10); seven (7) in Sorsogon, nine (9) in Albay, three (3) in Masbate, and ten (10) in Catanduanes.
“Three heads of piglets were given to smallholders or backyard hog raisers supported with six bags of feeds (3 starter feeds and 3 grower feeds) to help them start anew in their livelihood. The piglets are being distributed to the beneficiaries from municipalities that had no reported ASF cases for at least 80 days. The hog raisers from Pili, Camarines Sur were the latest recipients of the 2-month-old piglets which were distributed at the LGU offices,” Guarin added.
Cover photo: Sentinel pigs for distribution to hog raisers of Minalabac, Camarines Sur. | Photo credits: LPGuarin-DA RFO 5
Guarin said that to be declared ASF-free, hog raisers should submit pertinent documents for zone progression, and provide them with a copy of the municipal ordinance/executive order on the adoption of BaBay ASF Program; a copy of the farm registry of the municipality; a summary of ASF history in the municipality (outbreaks, surveillance and disease control measures); and list of training on Swine Biosecurity attended by hog raisers and LGU staff.
Guarin reiterated the DA’s call to hog raisers who are not yet listed for the program. More or less 90 days are needed to secure all the documents. If the hog raisers fail to comply with it, Guarin said that they will have to repeat the process over again.
“Additional reminders for affected hog raisers - Dapat po itong mga hog raisers na ito ay patuloy na maging maingat, maging malinis sa kanilang mga piggery, palagi mag disinfect ng mga kulungan. Kung puwede weekly ang disinfection and observe the biosecurity na itinuro sa kanila,” Guarin added. (With reports from Lucille Claudine Real-USI Intern-PIA5/Camarines Sur)