Four months after the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched the national hog repopulation and Bantay African Swine Fever sa Barangay (BABay ASF) twin programs in Batangas province, six local government units (LGUs) in Batangas are now first to claim ASF-free status.

“You are really a trailblazer in terms of the fight against the ASF virus,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during the program attended by agriculture stakeholders, partners, and potential investors in Lipa City, Batangas.

Dar formally declared that the following LGUs have fully recovered from ASF: 

  • Lipa City under the leadership of Mayor Eric Africa; 
  • San Jose under Mayor Valentino Patron; 
  • Malvar under Mayor Cristeta Reyes; 
  • Rosario under Mayor Manuel Alvarez; 
  • Taysan under Mayor Grande Gutierrez; and 
  • Nasugbu under Mayor Antonio Jose Barcelon

The agriculture head recognized and congratulated the local chief executives along with their city/municipal veterinarians and the Provincial Veterinarian Office of Batangas who led and succeeded in managing the viral disease that affected the hog industry.

“Kayo po ang talagang frontliner in the fight against ASF.” 

Gusto namin pasalamatan ang buong lalawigan ng Batangas. Kayo po ang talagang frontliner in the fight against ASF. Kayo po ang nagpakita na puwede palang i-contain, i-eradicate itong ASF. Sana nga magtagumpay tayo at with the vaccine that we are looking forward to ay mas masigla po tayo na lalaban muli dito sa ASF,” the agriculture chief said.

DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Reildrin Morales explained that the declaration of ASF-free status is pursuant to the provisions stipulated under the DA Administrative Order numbers 6 and 7, series of 2021, providing guidance on control and prevention of ASF and repopulation of the previously affected areas.

“By virtue of the declaration of Secretary Dar, the said city and municipalities are officially recovered from red (infected) zone to pink (buffer) zone. All these are guided by scientific procedures such as complete surveillance and monitoring and implementation of the sentinelling program of DA. All these exercises have established scientifically the absence of virus in these municipal and city LGUs,” Morales added.

Dar noted that while the country has been fighting ASF for almost two years now, successful implementation of projects has contributed to the declining number of outbreaks.

As of July 5, reports submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health, formerly the Office International des Epizooties, show that ASF has spread to 12 regions, 50 provinces, 541 cities/municipalities, and 2836 barangays.

Ngayon ay bumababa na yung outbreak kasi ang partnership between the OneDA family and the LGUs is always, elevated, strengthened, kasi palagi naming sinasabi po na ang liderato doon sa probinsya, siyudad, at munisipyo ay ang mga local chief executives,” he said.

In addition to forging strong partnerships with various stakeholders, Dar also shared some lessons learned in the fight against ASF including farm clustering, improvements in technologies and biosecurity measures, and the development of needed vaccines.

Ang pinakasolusyon on top of the biosecurity measures that we are promoting ay ang bakuna against ASF.” 

Ang pinakasolusyon on top of the biosecurity measures that we are promoting ay ang bakuna against ASF. Pag itong bakuna nakumpleto ang testing, baka early next year ay pwede na tayong gumamit nitong bakuna and we will see to it that we will massively vaccinate all the hog inventory that we have in the country both backyard and commercial,” he concluded.


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