By Chito Chavez
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año on Friday asked all local government units (LGUs) to tighten up African swine flu (ASF) prevention efforts and similar control measures in their respective turfs.
The DILG, Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in compliance with the Presidential directive are strictly monitoring the actions of the LGUs against the ASF.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Administrative Order (AO) No. 22 issued on February 5, 2020 ordering LGUs to strictly implement the National Zoning and Movement Plan for the prevention and control of ASF as contained under DA Administrative Circular No. 12, series of 2019.
“This is an urgent matter that should be prioritized by LGUs to save lives and save livelihood,’’ Año said.
Año said it is the responsibility of the LGUs to ensure public safety from food-borne diseases since they are the ones in charge of meat inspection at meat transport responsibilities imposed by the DA.
Año also urged the LGUs to follow the priority areas for action prescribed by the DA including the development and strengthening of their respective ASF Prevention and Control Plans; conducting proper public awareness on ASF; surveillance; and border control and movement management.
He noted that the LGUs must also provide operational and logistic support to local veterinary offices; give alternative livelihood for affected farmers; and update their swine inventories.
As of February 9, 2020, the DA reported that there are 569 barangays in the country with the occurrence of the ASF virus.
The DA reported that 87 municipalities or cities are in Region III (in the Provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Tarlac, and Bataan); 13 are in Region IV-A (in the Provinces of Rizal and Cavite); 7 in Region I (in the Province of Pangasinan); four in Metro Manila; four in Region XI (in the Provinces of Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur); four in Cordillera Administrative Region (in the Provinces of Benguet and Kalinga); and one in Region XII (in the Province of South Cotabato). In total, 120 municipalities or cities are affected in 14 provinces.