BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 27 creating the “Task Force African Swine Fever” (ASF) in the city.
Leonardia, who signed the EO on September 13, said the ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease with very high mortality rates affecting hogs and swine but harmless to human health.
He said there’s a need to adopt preventive measures in order to prevent great economic loss and protect the swine industry of the city.
“Strengthened monitoring and inspection is needed to prevent the outbreak of ASF in the city. In order to effectively address and devise measures to ensure the city against ASF, a need for the creation of a task force is imperative,” he added.
The task force will be led by the mayor as the chairperson with its vice-chairperson, Goldwyn Nifras, head of City Agriculture Office; and its members City Administrator John Orola, Councilors Bartolome Orola Sr., Carlos Jose Lopez, and Lady Gles Pallen; Bacolod City Police Office director Colonel Henry Binas; City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan; City Veterinarian Maria Agueda Trinidad Dela Torre; Dr. Grace Tan, Environment Sanitation Division Head of City Health Office; Executive Assistant Jose Maria Vargas; Public Information Officer Danny Dancalan; George Zulueta, vice chairperson of the City Development Council.
Other members of the task force were Sandra Ruth Mercedes Sycip, of City Tourism Office; Veterinarian Rodney Ta-ala; and Martin Penaga, of Task Force Botagoy.
Representatives from Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Police Command, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry, Food and Drug Administration, National Meat Inspection Service, Highly Urbanized City Agriculture and Fishery Council; and AVM Bernardo Engineering were also part of the task force.
The task force was task to formulate the contingency plan for the ASF prevention and control measures in the city; to conduct massive information and awareness campaign to all stakeholders on ASF outbreak and the needed interventions to reduce its expected adverse impact in the city; conduct investigation and institute control protocols in suspected areas of ASF; ensure implementation of the ASF prevention and control measures and quarantine measures; and perform such other functions as may be necessary for the full and proper implementation of ASF prevention and control protocols within the city.
The task force will also submit reports to the City Mayor on the status of its activities.
The City Council earlier approved a resolution urging Mayor Leonardia to create an ASF task force to monitor and prevent the entry of ASF contaminated pork and pork products from entering in the city.
The Department of Agriculture has recently announced that the blood sample from incident reports of suspected swine disease from Rizal province sent for confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction test has positive for ASF.