Pangasinan town’s declaration of state of calamity looms

MANGALDAN, Pangasinan – The Sangguniang Bayan here is waiting for the recommendation of the Municipal Agriculture Office on the declaration of a state of calamity due to the effects of African swine fever (ASF) to the hog raisers and further contain the spread of the virus.

A total of 80 pigs were culled in Barangay Bateng, the ground zero where the first positive ASF case in the town was discovered. Within the one-kilometer radius are Barangays Talogtog and Bantayan.

“The blood sampling of all pigs is going smoothly. All barangay chiefs are being mandated through the Executive Order of Mayor Mary Marilyn Lambino to make an inventory on the number of pigs in their respective barangays,” councilman Aldrin Soriano said in an interview on Thursday.

Soriano said barangays Alitaya, Gueguesangen, and Amansabina are also closely monitored after receiving reports of pigs dying in the area.

The barangays are located outside the 10-kilometer radius of Barangay Bateng, he said.

“The authorities are now in continuous monitoring of the area to identify whether they are infected or not,” he added.

Based on the investigation, the virus was reportedly transported to Barangay Bateng after a policeman assigned in Binmaley Police Station went home.

“He was involved in the culling operations in Binmaley town. He became a carrier when the virus latched onto him and when he got home, he unknowingly spread the virus,” Soriano said.

To prevent this happening again, vaccines and disinfectants were distributed to barangay officials and those manning the quarantine checkpoints, he said.

“As of now, the situation is under control,” he added.

Meanwhile, Calasiao town in Pangasinan has declared a state of calamity due to ASF.

In a separate interview, municipal agriculturist Monette Noguit said some 189 pigs were culled as of Wednesday.

“We have already closed our livestock market and with the declaration of a state of calamity, the aid to the hog raisers is expected, aside from the aid of the Department of Agriculture and the provincial government of Pangasinan. We are also implementing measures to contain further spread of the virus,” she said.

Malasiqui town and San Carlos earlier also declared a state of calamity due to ASF.  Ahikam Pasion /PNA –