State of calamity in Davao City mulled

(Photo by Macky Lim)

AFTER several hogs in another village in Calinan District, Davao City have been found to be infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) virus, the 19th City Council deemed it necessary to declare the city under state of calamity.

The City Veterinarian’s Office (CVO), on Tuesday, February 18, confirmed that the samples taken from the 15 dead hogs in Barangay Inayangan were ASF-positive.

Inayangan is adjacent to Barangay Lamanan where the first ASF outbreak in the city was declared earlier this month. Also affected is Barangay Dominga. Both belong to Calinan District.

At present, the affected barangays are covered under the quarantine zone or the one-kilometer radius of the “1-7-10 Protocol” imposed by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Prior to the confirmatory test, CVO head Cerelyn Pinili said blood samples were taken on February 7 and some of the dead hogs showed symptoms of inappetence for three days, and skin rashes around the abdomen.

On Friday, February 21, the City Council held a special session after receiving a letter from the office of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, requesting the council to pass a resolution for the declaration of Inayangan under state of calamity as recommended by the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DCDRRMC). The resolution was approved.

In line with the declaration, the City Mayor also requested for the granting of a total of P32,295,200 to five-affected puroks under Inayangan.

The breakdown of the fund assistance covers P27,295,200 for the financial assistance to hog raisers whose hogs will be culled or depopulated, while P5 million will be for other supplies and materials expenses including disinfectants and spray equipment.

Pinili said the amount has reached P27 million despite not all puroks in Inayangan are declared ASF-positive as test results on these areas are still being waited.

“Naka-standby lang siya incase naa’y incursion of the virus sa ubang purok. Didtoa na nato gamiton ang fund in case mag test positive na sila (The fund will be used in case the incursion of the virus will occur in other puroks. That is when we will be utilizing the fund in case these puroks will test positive of the virus),” Pinili said.

During the session, some councilors have expressed concerns following the declaration of another ASF-infected barangays in the city.

Councilor Louie John Bonguyan first suggested to have the entire city covered under state of calamity.

Bonguyan said Inayangan’s contamination to the deadly hog virus just came two weeks since the council declared Lamanan and Dominga under state of calamity.

“Under the rules, the Sangguniang Panlungsod can declare our city (under state of calamity) since two or more barangays have been affected by this calamity (ASF virus),” he said.

However, Councilor Bai Hundra Cassandra Advincula said they are still awaiting the recommendation from the DCDRRMC.

She said some of her colleagues were wondering how the virus reached Inayangan despite culling the entire hogs in the first two ASF-infected barangays.

“Dako kaayo ang possibility nga naa pay affected barangays. Maong basin naa’y possibility nga mamalik nasab mi diria sa council (There’s a possibility that other barangays might already been infected that’s why we might be coming back here in the council to declare another state of calamity in another barangay),” Advincula told reporters.

She added the spread of the virus has already posed concerns not only to hog-raisers, but also the consumers.

“Wala na nalipay ang mga tao, maong dapat tang mabalaka, especially tong mga hog raisers nga mao ra ilang gina-rely as source of livelihood (The public is expressing concern in this situation. We should be wary, especially the hog raisers whose source of livelihood is solely on hog raising),” Advincula said.

Currently, the city already allocated P52,295,200 to the affected hog raisers in Calinan. The amount was sourced from the 30-percent Quick Response Fund (QRF) out of the five-percent Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund of the City Government for the calendar year 2020.

Advincula said the city has still an estimated P80 million in its QRF. She also said that while the city has still enough calamity fund, but they cannot afford to utilize the entire fund to financially support all the affected hog raisers.

“Isa pud na sa gi-raise nga concern sa atong mga kaubanan ganiha, since dili lang ASF ang atong ginaatubang nga calamity. Duna pay linog ug uban pang laing disaster (It was also raised during the session, since our calamity fund will not only be intended to be utilized in times of ASF outbreaks. We also have other natural disasters such as earthquakes and others),” she said.

Meanwhile, Pinili was quiet when reporters asked if the entire city should be declared under state of calamity.

However, she said concerned agencies are ensuring that the virus will not spread in the neighboring barangays.

Inayangan hogs to be depopulated

Pinili said approximately 900 hogs in Inayangan will be culled over the weekend.

She said they already had a coordination meeting with Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) to plan the depopulation process.

The veterinarian official said they are targeting to cull all hogs in the area on Saturday, February 21. But if not, she said the least would be on Sunday, February 22.

An estimated 90 backyard hog raisers are affected.

She assured that they will receive financial assistance, which will be sourced from the approved grant from the City Council.

Pinili said CVO will give financial assistance to hog raisers by culling at P1,500 per piglet (suckling), and P5,000 per grower or P90 per kilo, whichever is higher, per grower.

This is on top of the P5,000 indemnity payment given by Department of Agriculture-Davao for each pig that will be culled.

Meanwhile, Barangays Dominga and Lamanan are still under mandatory decontamination and disinfection for 30 days.


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