Davao Occidental put under state of calamity due to ASF outbreak
DAVAO CITY – The province of Davao Occidental declared a state of calamity following the African swine fever outbreak in its two towns, which killed thousands of hogs.
Governor Claude Bautista said the outbreak had left only 7,000 hogs out of the 13,000 pig population in Don Marcelino town, the epicenter of the ASF outbreak here.
But Bautista said the remaining pig population would also be culled.
He said he had tasked barangay officials to go around villages to collect the remaining hog livestocks, with the pledge that owners would be paid P5,000 per head.
“We encourage all residents to surrender their hogs for proper disposal,” he said, adding that the indemnification fund came from the Department of Agriculture.
Bautista said the provincial government would also put up a counterpart fund to convince more people to surrender their stocks so that these could be disposed of.
As the province grappled with the problem, which had since spread to the capital town, Malita, Bautista told barangay officials to strictly comply with the control measures put in place, such as the temporary ban on the entry and exit of domestic or wild live pigs and pork-related products.
He said as the culling of stocks goes full swing, the provincial government was also designing alternative livelihood projects for the affected pig owners.
Ricardo Oñate Jr, the director of the Department of Agriculture in Davao Region (Region 11), said that based on his talk with Don Marcelino Mayor Michael Maruya, appropriate burial places for the culled hogs had already been identified in the town's 15 villages.
"It is a shame in our part because the first case of ASF in Mindanao started in our province," Bautista lamented, even as he told village officials that cases would be filed against those found to have failed to cooperate in the anti-ASF efforts.
“This is all our problem. We need to solve this. We work as one.. We all have the obligation and responsibility," he added. – Rappler.com