Pangasinan town declares state of calamity due to ASF

BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan — The municipality of Bayambang has declared a state of calamity in portions of the town affected by the African swine fever (ASF).

Mayor Cezar Quiambao said there were initially seven barangays covered by the declaration, including the four barangays within the one-kilometer radius from Barangay Apalen, where the ASF was first detected.

“There might be more barangays as the 1-7-10 protocol of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is being implemented starting at the ground zero,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

Quiambao said the declaration will enable the municipality to give assistance to the hog raisers in the town whose swine were culled.

“We will give them 50 kilograms of rice in addition to the cash aid from DA. We will give it to them soon as the inventory is done. But we will ensure that those who will receive the aid were those whose hogs were culled,” he disclosed.

The mayor said they continue to investigate how the ASF was able to enter the town.

“We are investigating the cause and if it will be found out that the hog raiser suspected to be responsible for this has criminal liabilities, then we will file a case of criminal offense,” Quiambao said.

“The unnamed trader allegedly brought hogs into his backyard, where he did the slaughtering and selling of meat products which is prohibited,” he added.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dr. Florentino Adame, chief at Regulatory Division of DA Ilocos Region, said some 59 hogs were confirmed to have died due to ASF, while 207 were culled.

There are estimated 914 hogs within the one-kilometer radius that covers four barangays of Bayambang, while there are six municipalities in Pangasinan and two in Tarlac covered within the seven-kilometer radius, Adame said.

“1-7-10 protocol is implemented. Animal quarantine checkpoints are positioned within the affected area to control movement of animals. Surveillance is also undertaken within seven kilometers radius,” he added.  Hilda Austria / PNA – northboundasia.com