• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Although hog mortalities have reduced to zero in the past several days, the provincial government of Negros Occidental continues its fight against swine diseases by distributing yesterday 12,000 doses of hog cholera vaccines worth P480,000, to various local government units in southern Negros.
The province procured 74,000 doses of hog cholera vaccines worth P2.96 million, under the provincial government Animal Health Support Program.
The recipients are hog raisers in the LGUs of Kabankalan, Sipalay, Ilog, Candoni, Hinobaan and Cauayan.
The Provincial Animal Biosecurity Incident Management Team has reported 17,801 pig deaths caused by various swine diseases in Negros Occidental, representing almost 10 percent of the entire hog population of the province.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana, and Board Member Jeffrey Tubola led the distribution activities in Brgy. Dancalan, Ilog, also attended by former Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco, and local officials of Ilog.
Sipalay City and Hinobaan were the first recipients, receiving 74,000 doses worth P2.96 million.
Lemana said that it will be the raisers themselves who will inject the vaccines to their pigs.
“We don’t want our para-vets who will be carriers of the virus that will cause the deaths of their pigs,” she pointed out.
A total of 800 free range chicks were also turned over by Lacson to hog raisers affected by various swine diseases, as an alternative source of livelihood.
Regarding the schedule of distribution of P2,000 cash assistance to each affected hog raiser, Lacson said they are finalizing the whole process, with San Enrique and another local government unit to be the first beneficiaries.
In the same activity, Lacson also turned over 321 heads of cattle, carabao, and goat to farmers affected by super typhoon Odette in the same LGUs, with a market value of P10.4 million, as well as 213 sacks of feeds, worth P472,860.
The rehabilitation program, according to Lacson, is a joint undertaking of the provincial government and Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 6.
DA RFO 6 set aside P36.5 million for its joint project with Negros Occidental provincial government called “Typhoon Odette Livestock and Poultry Rehabilitation Program.”
We are hoping that this program will be successful, if only to recover from losses we experienced in typhoon Odette, Lacson said.*