By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday called on barangay workers to help contain the spread of the African swine fever, saying local executive can encourage hog raisers to adopt strict quarantine measures.
Binay said helping backyard hog raisers rise again after dealing with the negative impact of the ASF in their livelihood would make it easier for them to cope with their losses.
“Tulungan natin ang mga maliliit na backyard hog raisers na muling makabangon. It was already hard for them to see their pigs die and culled,” Binay said in a statement.
“Barangay officials can help contain ASF by encouraging them to adapt bio-security practices in every stage of swine raising,” she stressed.
Binay said that due to the intimate knowledge of barangay workers of their respective constituencies, they would be crucial in monitoring hog raisers whose livestock are affected by the outbreak.
“Yung biosecurity ay malaking challenge na sa mga nag-aalaga ng baboy. Ipaunawa natin sa kanila kung gaano ito kahalaga, (Biosecurity is a big challenge to those raising swine. Let us make them understand its importance),” she said.
“Barangay officials can encourage backyard raisers to notify them or representatives of the LGU or DA to report if there’s something wrong with their pigs,” added Binay.
She also said barangay workers have the trust and confidence of residents in their community and could be effective bridges between hog raisers and municipal or city veterinarians and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“Nananawagan ako sa mga barangay workers natin, kayo na po ang lumapit sa mga hog raisers natin, lalo na sa mga backyard raisers, lalo pa’t undermanned ang mga local agricultural offices natin, (I’m calling on our barangay workers to make the initiative to approach our hog raisers, especially backyard raisers, especially since our local agricultural offices are undermanned),” Binay said.
She further stressed that establishing an effective partnership among the DA, local officials, and hog raisers is of paramount to ensure that the outbreak does not worsen into an epidemic.
“Kung hahayaan lang natin unchecked ang ASF sa mga commercial farms at backyard property, may malaking impact ito sa buong livestock industry. It can ruin supply, change food flows, impact food security and eventually hurt the economy,” Binay pointed out.
The lawmaker, likewise, urged local governments to ensure the proper disposal of culled pigs. She said LGUs should identify disposal sites and to be active in informing hog raisers in the community about these venues.
“Huwag po nating tularan iyong mga basta na lang itinapon sa ilog ang mga namatay na baboy (Let’s not follow those who just threw their hogs in the river),” she said.