ASF-affected hog raisers yet to receive payment

(Photo by Macky Lim)
(Photo by Macky Lim)

HOG raisers in African Swine Fever (ASF)-affected barangays in Calinan District, Davao City have yet to receive indemnity payment from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Department of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-Davao) Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section chief Noel Provido said DA-Davao is still processing the payment for the affected hog raisers in villages Dominga and Lamanan.

“Ang pondo, unlike sa Davao City Government, is didtoa pa sa Manila kuhaon, which takes time (The fund, unlike in the Davao City government, which will be used as financial assistance, will be coming from the national government in Manila, that’s why it takes time),” Provido said in a phone interview.

However, he assured that DA is currently working on the cash assistance.

A total of 2,343 hogs were already depopulated after villages Dominga and Lamanan were declared under “quarantine zone” by DA.

Earlier, the Davao City Government turned over financial cash assistance to some 2,000 hog raisers, whose hogs were depopulated within the one-kilometer radius tagged as a “quarantine zone” or the “ground zero” of the virus.

The local government, through the City Veterinarian’s Office (CVO) gave P1,500 per piglet (suckling), and P5,000 or P90 per kilo, whichever is higher, per grower.

The fund was sourced from the approved P20-million financial assistance granted by the 19th City Council earlier this month.

CVO head Dr. Cerelyn Pinili said the cash assistance was immediately given to the hog raisers after the pigs were surrendered for culling process.

Provido, meanwhile, said based on the statement of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the cash assistance allotted by the national government through the “indemnity fund” might be released within one to two months.

DA will pay P5,000 for each pig, excluding suckling, that will be culled as counterpart of the cash assistance from the city government, Dar said recently.

Affected hog raisers, which are all backyard hog raisers, can also avail of DA’s P30,000 credit window per hog raisers, which is payable within three years with zero interest. The assistance can be used for other livelihood opportunities since the agency is not recommending the restart of hograising in the affected barangays for at least three months.

He also said DA will also give suckling for them to start over in their business should the current situation improve.

Currently, Provido said they are still finalizing the reported hog population.

Meanwhile, the culling of around 900 hogs from the five puroks of Barangay Inayangan, also in Calinan, already started on Sunday, February 23.

Pinili said the culling is expected to be completed early this week.

On Friday, February 21, the City Council declared Barangay Inayangan under the state of calamity after CVO confirmed last February 18 that samples taken from 20 dead hogs were ASF-positive.

The Council also approved the release of P32.2 million to be used to indemnify affected hog raisers in Inayangan.

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

Pinili also said areas affected will be properly disinfected to prevent the further spread of the disease.

She said her office will immediately release the monetary assistance before they start culling the pigs.

“After they turn over their swine, we will give them the money. The instruction of Mayor Sara (Duterte-Carpio) is to immediately release the money so that the farmers can use it,” Pinili said.

She said only five puroks will be covered by the culling although the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recommended to give financial assistance to the entire barangay in case another case of ASF hits the area. (With reports from CIO)


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