Gov’t to pay hog owners in ASF-hit Iligan village
ILIGAN CITY — Agriculture officials in the region have assured affected hog raisers in Barangay Pugaan here they would be compensated for the hogs culled to stop the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) infection.
In a press briefing Talakayan sa PIA, Carlene Collado, executive director of the regional field office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) here, said the Northern Mindanao Hog Raisers (NorMinHog) would pay affected hog farmers P2,000, while DA would pay P5,000 for every hog they culled to stop the spread of the disease affecting hogs.
The city government of Iligan has also allocated P1.5 million to support the affected farmers, according to city information officer Jose Pantoja.
“The P5,000 from the DA will be released upon submission of complete documents to the DA central office,” Collado said.
So far, 149 backyard swine farmers have been affected since city and agriculture authorities started on Nov. 18 the culling of hogs in four sitios of Barangay Pugaan, where the infection was noted.
Collado said a total of 664 hogs were culled as agriculture authorities tried to contain the disease and stop its spread to surrounding hog farms.
DA confirmed on Wednesday that the serum specimen taken from hogs in four sitios in Pugaan tested positive for the ASF viral DNA.
The government agency has also set a 500-meter radius containment zone, where no person or hog is allowed to enter or get out.
In 2019, Northern Mindanao posted the third highest hog production in the country, next only to Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions.
Northern Mindanao produced a total of 200,965 metric tons of live weight valued at more than P21 billion (at an average price of P105 a kilo).
Collado said DA had stopped the transport of fresh pork and processed pork products from Iligan to other areas in Northern Mindanao.
Maricar Surban, owner of a small carinderia inside the Pugaan market, considered the ASF a big blow to her livelihood at the time when she was still recovering from the pandemic. “I was already happy that we were allowed to open (our store), but now, we are facing another problem,” she said.
Before the reported ASF, she used to earn P500 a day from her pork menu but after the news about the hog disease came out, no one was ordering anymore.
Engr. Teod Gayo, a lechon dealer and owner of three food courts in two malls in Iligan City, said some of his clients were canceling their orders.
Collado assured the public they were trying their best to manage, contain and control the infection.
He asked the public to take the necessary precautions.
“We are appealing to the public to respect and step on the foot bath in Animal Quarantine Stations and to refrain from bringing in pork and pork by-products from ASF-affected areas,” Collado added.
Earlier, Iligan City Mayor Celso G. Regencia ordered the City Veterinarian’s Office and the Iligan City Police Office to restrict the movement of live hogs, pork meat and their by-products in all parts of the city.
He also ordered stricter surveillance and monitoring of live pigs, pork and pork products that may be brought in and out of the city.
“We have sealed seven entry and exit points in Barangay Pugaan and inspected all vehicles coming in and out of the village,” said Amy Lastimoso, team leader of OroVet, an association of hog raisers and feed suppliers in Northern Mindanao deployed since Nov. 13 to contain the movement of contaminated meat and animals.
“We have been instructed to confiscate all pork and pork meat that we can find.”