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24,000 hogs culled in Bicol due to ASF

By Bobby Q. Labalan

Pili, Camarines Sur --- Some 24,541 hogs had been culled by the government as part of the preventive campaign against the African Swine Flu (ASF) since the diseases hit Bicol region in February 2020.

This was confirmed by the Department of Agriculture-Bicol (DA-Bicol) during the press briefing held at its regional office here Wednesday, January 17.

Rose Imperial, chief of the Regulatory Division of DA-Bicol, said all six provinces in the region had been hit by the hog disease but currently only the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon have active cases involving 19 barangays in ten municipalities.

Since its onset in Bicol, the agriculture office had recorded 495 cases in 72 municipalities covering 394 barangays, Imperial said.

Based on DA record, the hog infestation had affected 4,011 hog raisers though no figures as to the commercial value of the culled hogs were cited.

Troubled times in the pen: Restless hogs affected by the ASF virus, a stark reminder of the challenges faced in agriculture. DA Photo.

Imperial said affected farmers were provided with assistance by the government either through the agriculture department, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) or the local government units (LGUs) either in the form of cash assistance or hog dispersal.

The official said presently, the infestation is now on a downward trend in the region but there are still recurring incidents in some areas in the three provinces earlier mentioned.

During the presentation, part of Masbate province had red color in the towns of Milagros and Palanas indicating active cases but Imperial explained that the province is due for transition to pink color which means buffer zone area.

The province of Masbate easily overcomes ASF cases because if provincial veterinary office is very active in the campaign against the infestation, Imperial explained.

After the media briefing, Lovella Guarin, head of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS), presided over the organization of the Philippine Agriculture Journalists- Bicol Chapter.

The organization advocates for the promotion of sustainable agriculture in support to the food security program of the government.

Elected as officers of the PAJ-Bicol Rhaydz Barcia as president, Bobby Labalan as vice-president, Bong Villacruz-secretary; Ana-lisa Macatangay-treasurer; Marga Matos-auditor; Connie Calipay-PRO for Print; Rosas Olarte-PRO for TV; Mafe Mariscal-PRO for Broadcast and the members of the Board of Directors are Lovella Guarin, Ramil Marianito, Marlon Atun, Michael Jaucian and Roden Sical.


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