MANILA – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar has approved the implementing guidelines for the establishment of Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (CenTrAD), a joint undertaking between the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the identified State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).
According to Memorandum Order No. 05 signed by Dar on April 8, CenTrad will serve as center for risk analysis, investigation, diagnosis, mapping, and emergency management of the Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs).
"This project envisions the creation and operation of CenTrAD that shall lead the conduct of surveillance, diagnosis and control, mapping, epidemiology, timely information dissemination, research and emergency management in case of emergence transboundary animal diseases (TADs)," the order read.
The project’s source of fund shall be through the Republic Act 11494 or "Bayanihan to Recover as One Act”, adhering the disbursement rules set by the Department of Budget and Management subject to auditing rules and regulation.
Among the specific objectives of the CenTrad include:
-- Provide a venue for focused animal disease diagnostics, monitoring and surveillance particularly of TADs in the country;
-- Serve as a hub for risk analysis, development of plans and the management and implementation of interventional veterinary assistance in times of TADs outbreak;
-- Serve as a hub for multidisciplinary capacity building particularly for animal health workers, and render expert consultancy service needs on all facets of animal health, more importantly on One-Health, risk communications, and biosecurity;
-- Perform relevant and competitive research programs that directly address TADs, conduct socio-economic and value chain studies, improved advocacy, risk communication, and the needs to poultry and livestock farming communities; and
-- Serve as the central storage facility for animal vaccines, supplies and equipment for emergency and disease management.
Aside from DA-BAI, the major SUC partners in CenTraD project implementation are Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Cavite State University, Central Bicol State University, Central Mindanao University, Isabela State University, Visayas State University, Tarlac State University, Cagayan State University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, and Pampanga State Agricultural University.
The CLSU in collaboration with other SUCs shall supervise the establishment of the project in coordination with the DA-BAI which shall take the lead in periodic monitoring and evaluation of the project, according to the memorandum order.
The CLSU shall also be responsible for allocation of at least 10,000 square meters for the construction of the CenTraD project building.
“DA-BAI will be mainly accountable in the allocation and fund transfer for CenTrAD’s establishment and operation; in monitoring the fund utilization and the project's progress; and in providing further technical assistance to strengthen the disease diagnosis in the country,” the order read.
Last month, the DA already sought for the declaration of national emergency in a bid to mobilize local government units to prevent the further spread of African swine fever (ASF).
When declared, the LGUs will allocate funds to address the threat of the disease.
Dar said it would also require concerned government agencies to address the problem.
Unlike the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), ASF is harmless to humans but is deadly to pigs and there is no vaccine or cure.
Data from the agriculture office said that the ASF has so far spread to 12 regions, 40 provinces, 466 cities and municipalities and 2,425 barangays. (PNA)