Negros Occidental gives P10 million aid to hog raisers
BACOLOD CITY — Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has approved the release of P10 million in financial aid to hog raisers of the province who lost their livestock to various diseases.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, in a statement on June 13, said that each affected family would receive P2,000.
“If the P10 million is not enough, additional funds will be allocated,” he said.
The provincial government would also distribute free-range chickens as an alternative source of livelihood for the affected pig raisers, he added.
Diaz said the Incident Management Team would set the policy on who would be the priority recipients.
The province’s cash assistance was on top of what the city or municipal governments in the province would give to their affected hog raisers.
The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) earlier reported that 12,560 pigs have died from various diseases in Negros Occidental from April 1 to June 13, prompting the local governments to take steps to protect the province’s P6-billion hog industry.
The hog deaths, which represented 8.78 percent of the province’s pig population, affected 2,404 hog raisers and caused losses amounting to P141,613,200.
African swine fever
While the bulk of the deaths were caused by hog cholera, there have been confirmed pig deaths due to the highly contagious African swine fever (ASF) in the cities of Bacolod, Silay and Victorias, and Pulupandan town, according to Diaz.
He said the provincial government’s laboratory has detected ASF cases in some areas but they still have to receive the confirmatory test results from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
“The provincial government cannot officially release the results unless confirmed by the BAI. The provincial government’s molecular laboratory is only for surveillance purposes,” he said.
—CARLA P. GOMEZ