Iloilo town declares state of calamity

ILOILO CITY — With an alarming increase of recorded African swine fever cases in the its municipality, the Sangguniang Bayan of Oton in Iloilo province has placed the municipality under a state of calamity on Thursday.

The municipal government said that ASF cases have already spread in 10 of the town’s 37 villages.

During a special session conducted by the council, Committee on Agriculture chairperson Councilor Lee Alison Bretaña stressed that at least 15 percent of the forecasted affected population require emergency assistance and more than 30 percent of the means of livelihood in agriculture and business sectors are affected.

“As per record of the municipal agriculture and cooperative office, there are already hundreds of swine/pigs already depopulated causing a rippling effect to all swine-related business such as swine growers, middleman, meat processors, and many more staggering millions of pesos of losses to swine farmers,” said part of the resolution that was unanimously passed.

“The widespread occurrence of the ASF in the municipality indicates clear danger to all the agriculture industry and causes a large scale damage to the economic activity of the municipality and the nearby municipalities of the province of Iloilo,” the resolution added.

The municipal government said that the declaration is expected to help the town in its prevention and control efforts in terms of resources by utilizing the local disaster risk reduction management fund, particularly its quick response fund for the conduct of sustained biosecurity surveillance and protection measures.

The municipality has 1,642 hog raisers with an 11,500 hog inventory.

Oton is one of the biggest contributors to the economy of the province and has even sent hogs as far as Luzon, Villavicencio said.

The approved resolution will be sent to the provincial government of Iloilo, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Animal Industry, the National Meat Inspection Service, and other concerned agencies for possible assistance to ASF-affected areas in terms of rehabilitation.

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