Quezon City Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga on Sunday urged the Agriculture department to raise its P3,000 financial aid per head of pig culled to P8,000 to every hog raiser whose livelihood has been affected by the African swine fever.
READ: 20K pigs culled in ASF protocol
In a Dobol B sa News TV interview, Enverga, chairman of the House committee on agriculture and food, said the P3,000 was not enough to compensate for the loss of a hog raiser due to the ASF.
“The P3,000 is just too small... If we give P8,000 to P10,000, especially to those backyard raisers, they might as well [voluntarily report and] surrender their [infected] pigs,” Enverga said.
Even Agap party-list Rep. Rico Geron said the P3,000 was not enough.
“If you raise a pig, each could cost almost P14,000,” Geron said.
At least a third of the 20,000 pigs slaughtered in various areas in
Luzon were infected by ASF, the Department of Agriculture said.
The rest of the 20,000 culled pigs were within the one-kilometer radius under the government’s 1-7-10 protocol.
Under the protocol, quarantine checkpoints are set up in areas within a one-kilometer radius of suspected farms. Within a seven-kilometer radius, authorities will conduct surveillance and limit animal movement while Farm owners within a 10-kilometer radius are mandated to report any disease to the DA.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar warned those who would transport pigs from areas affected by the African swine fever shall be dealt accordingly.
“All hog traders, the full force of the law will descend upon you. There are existing laws to follow and we hope that you would cooperate,” he said.
“I would like to appeal to the traders to please do not transport pigs from ASF-affected areas. Let us not play hide and seek. Please help the government, both national and local,” Dar added.
Four villages in Quezon City—Pasong Tamo, Bagong Silangan, Payatas and Tatalon—have already been affected by ASF. Aklan, Bohol, Cebu City, Cebu province, Davao City, Iloilo, Mandaue City, Misamis Oriental and Negros Occidental have arlready imposed temporary bans on the entry of live hogs and processed pork from Luzon and countries affected by ASF.
Pampanga also sealed its borders to prevent the entry of live hogs and all pork products from neighboring provinces.
The 20,000 pigs that so far have been culled or have died because of the disease, however, represent small fraction of the country’s swine herd that was estimated at 12.7 million heads as of July 1.
A highly contagious hemorrhagic disease, ASF infects pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs, according to World Organization for Animal Health.
While it may affect the swine industry, it poses no threat to human health.
“We want to reiterate to the public that ASF is not a threat to human health,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
The DA has already earmarked P78 million as emergency fund for biosecurity and quarantine operations.
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