LEGAZPI CITY – Santa Magdalena town in Sorsogon province is now included in the list of areas in Region 5 affected by the African swine fever (ASF), according to the Department of Agriculture in Bicol (DA-5) on Monday.
In an interview, Lovella Guarin, DA-5 information officer, said the local government unit (LGU) of Santa Magdalena submitted to DA-Bicol blood samples of a dead swine, "and based on the ASF testing conducted by our Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) last Aug. 31, the swine is positive for ASF."
She said 39 backyard-raised pigs owned by 14 farmers were ordered depopulated due to the ASF.
"DA-Bicol Regional Executive Rodel P. Tornilla already sent a letter to the LGU informing the protocols to be followed. We have also coordinated closely with the provincial local government unit of Sorsogon and the municipal agriculturist of Santa Magdalena for the depopulation which was conducted last Friday," she said.
DA-Bicol Regulatory Division Chief Rose Imperial also coordinated with Sorsogon Governor Jose Edwin Hamor, who immediately instructed the Philippine National Police for strict border control in the towns of Matnog, Bulan, Juban, and Sorsogon City.
"Pigsubmit mi na sa Bureau of Animal Industry yun result ng ASF testing for a confirmatory test. So bawal na magpalabas ng baboy sa Santa Magdalena, Bulan and Matnog (We submitted to the Bureau of Animal Industry the result of ASF testing for a confirmatory test. Hogs are now prohibited to be brought out from Santa Magdalena, Bulan, and Matnog). DA and PVO are conducting surveillance within a one-kilometer radius," she said.
Guarin also said the LGU was instructed to coordinate with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation for the indemnification of affected hog raisers.
She said payment is now under the Swine–Livestock Mortality Insurance Program and only those listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture will be indemnified.
There are 64 towns affected by ASF in Bicol since last year, but 22 of these have now been declared free of the disease, Guarin said. (PNA)