• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Swine deaths in Negros Occidental, due to various hog diseases, have further increased to 14,738, with losses valued at P166 million as of June 27, according to reports of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO).
The PVO reported that there are now 144 barangays in 18 local government units in Negros Occidental with hog mortalities, affecting 2,967 pig raisers.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson however said that the number of pig deaths is decreasing, from an average of more than 400 per day at its peak, to at least 150, and there are now days with no recorded hog mortalities.
The hog deaths constitute 9.74 percent of 151,281 population of Negros Occidental, PVO reports further indicated.
No hog deaths were reported only in the 1st district of Negros Occidental, composed of cities of San Carlos and Escalante, and the municipalities of Toboso, Calatrava and Don Salvador Benedicto.
On the other hand, San Enrique has logged 2,671 deaths, which is 99.22 percent of its hog population of 2,692.
Lacson has discouraged the repopulation of pigs until the spread of diseases is fully addressed.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental, local government units of Bacolod City, Bago City, San Enrique, and Hinigaran have extended financial assistance to affected hog raisers, the bulk of which are backyard raisers.
LGUs in Negros Occidental that have been hit with African Swine Fever are the cities of Victorias, Silay and Bacolod, as well as municipalities of Hinigaran and Pulupandan.*