BUTUAN CITY -- Considering the recent limitations brought by the pandemic which prohibits the usual face-to-face Information Caravan, the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Caraga Information Section held a Virtual Forum on African Swine Fever Prevention and Control for the province of Agusan del Norte in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The forum aims to strengthen information dissemination and public awareness about the die-hard virus especially in the Local Government Units (LGUs) of the province, elaborating also the role of every barangay on the prevention and containment if such a virus is detected.
The virtual forum started last June 17 with participating municipal and barangay officials of Cabadbaran City, municipalities of Buenavista, and Carmen. On June 18, it was participated by the municipalities of Las Nieves, Kitcharao, Nasipit, and Magallanes. On June 24, another virtual forum is set to happen for the municipalities of Jabonga, R.T.R., Tubay, and Santiago.
Topics discussed during the forum included ASF Prevention and Control presented by Dr. Jayen Daladar of the DA- Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL), Swine Mortality Insurance presented by Roy Arthur Alamban of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) - Northern Mindanao, and ASF Contingency Plan presented by Dr. Belen Aruelo of the Provincial Veterinary Office of Agusan del Norte. Present as well is Dr. Bernadette Montenegro of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) - Caraga serving as one of the panelists in the forum.
According to DA Caraga - Information Chief Emmylou Presilda, the target participants of the caravan are members of the Sanggunian, Punong Barangay and its chairperson in Agriculture, and municipal agriculturists since they are at the forefront in the management, prevention, and control of the spread of the virus once present in their area of responsibility.
The virtual forum is one of the efforts of the Regional ASF Task Force, spearheaded by its communication team to intensify awareness and strengthen cooperation among agriculture stakeholders in the region. Last April, an on-site Information Caravan on ASF also covered 12 municipalities in the province of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur.
Moreover, President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his Proclamation No. 1143 inked on May 10, 2021, has placed the entire country under a state of calamity for one year due to the ASF outbreak. The said declaration will allow the national government and LGUs to utilize the Quick Response funds in their efforts to contain the continuing spread of the ASF. (Kent Warren H. Fugoso, DA-RAFIS13/PIA Agusan del Norte)