9 Bicol towns now ASF-free

By Connie Calipay

Some nine municipalities in the Bicol region have been declared free of African swine fever (ASF), the Department of Agriculture (DA) said recently.


“For Albay, we have Malilipot, Ligao, Daraga, Malinao and Pioduran while in Sorsogon we have two towns, Bulan and Sta. Magdalena, and two towns in Camarines Sur, Canaman and Iriga City,” Emily Bordado, DA-5 spokesperson, said in an interview.


She said the nine towns were given an ASF-free status after complying with DA Administrative Order No. 30 series of 2021, the Guideline on the Recovery and Declaration of Freedom from ASF for LGUs (local government units).


"Pertinent documents must be submitted and procedure (followed) for zone progression and local declaration of ASF-free status," Bordado said.


Some of the requirements are a copy of the municipal ordinance on the adoption of the "Bantay ASF sa Barangay" program, a copy of the farm registry of the municipality as proof of membership, a list of training on swine biosecurity attended by LGU staff, a summary of ASF history in the municipalities including the outbreaks, surveillance, and measures to prevent reintroduction of ASF in the area.


Supporting documents to be submitted are narrative reports on the start of repopulation procedures including negative disease monitoring reports and surveillance test results, and the results of bi-annual ASF surveillance.


Bordado said they are anticipating other towns in the region to be declared free from ASF.


Under DA Administrative Order No. 30 series of 2021, all LGUs with no reported outbreak for at least 40 days from the last day of cleaning and disinfection are eligible for ASF-free declaration. (With a report from Eliakim Neric/PNA-OJT)