BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
An ordinance establishing the Bantay African Swine Fever Task Force in all barangays of Bacolod City and granting authority to the City Veterinary Office to deputize and empower barangay biosecurity was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on second reading Wednesday.
The ordinance, authored by Councilor Carl Lopez, chairman of the SP Committee on Agriculture and Agrarian Concerns, aims to establish an effective ASF monitoring, surveillance and reporting system, strengthen biosecurity measures at the farm level, put up border controls, and intensify awareness campaigns and other capacity building activities.
It also aims to strengthen and institutionalize city and barangay engagement for ASF prevention and control, assist in the recovery and repopulation of affected areas, and generate and mobilize resources for an effective implementation of the “Bantay ASF”.
Lopez said ASF, a high impact transboundary animal disease, continues to affect the swine production sector of the Philippines with no vaccine and no known cure to date resulting in industry estimate of 36 percent reduction of national swine inventory, impacting both livelihood and agriculture economy.
He said early reporting of animal-borne disease is vital for an efficient and well-coordinated response and immediate implementation of control measures, adding that successful control effort lies in the strong collaboration between the Department of Agriculture, its relevant agencies, local government units, and stakeholders.*