Capitol implements control measures against ASF

By John Noel E. Herrera

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr has released Executive Order No. 460 implementing “Quarantine Procedures and Disease Preventions and Control Measures Against African Swine Fever (ASF)” in the province on Oct 17, 2022.

This, after the swine specimen samples from Brgy. Bita Norte, Oton, Iloilo tested positive for ASF last week.

The provincial government will be implementing zoning classifications with corresponding colors based on the Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Circular No. 2 to strengthen the containment measures against ASF.

Here is the list of zoning classifications listed by the provincial government:

Red Zone (Infected) – These include municipalities or cities with confirmed outbreaks of ASF confirmed cases following the case definition.

Pink Zone (Buffer) – These include municipalities of cities where ASF is not detected but demarcated immediately around the Red Zone when an area has been confirmed as an infected zone.

Yellow Zone (Surveillance) – These include municipalities or cities where ASF is not detected and adjacent to the Pink Zone.

Light Green Zone (Protected) – These include municipalities or cities where ASF is not detected and are considered to be moderate risk areas following the risk criteria.

Dark Green Zone (Free) – These include municipalities or cities where ASF is not detected and is considered low risk following the risk criteria.

The town of Oton, where the province’s first ASF case was detected, was placed under the Infected Zone (Red) for a period of 10 days, starting on Oct 17, while the towns of San Miguel, Pavia, Tigbauan, and Iloilo City were under the Buffer Zone (Pink) and the towns of Igbaras, Guimbal, Tubungan, Leon, Alimodian, Cabatuan, Santa Barbara, and Leganes were placed under the Surveillance Zone (Yellow).

The towns of Miag-ao, Maasin, Janiuay, Mina, New Lucena and Zarraga were under the Protected Zone (Light Green), while the remaining towns were under the Free Zone (Dark Green).

Those places also included within the 1-kilometer radius from ground zero (quarantine area) will be prohibited to transport or deliver live pigs, pork, and pork products outside the area.

“Right now, that is closed (the places included within the 1 km area), hindi ka na da kaguwa and what prompted us to close is the resistance that we experience. May possibility that others will slaughter and take it out, so nag-hugot kita,” Defensor said.

The provincial government also created the Local ASF Task Force to intensify the implementation of the issuances stated in the EO, such as monitoring, surveillance, investigations, and operations of conducting the test and destroy protocols.

The task force will also conduct red zone quarantine checkpoints in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and monitoring of transport terminals.

Several municipalities in the province also conducted their own monitoring and surveillance, and started to mount a checkpoint to check the entry of pigs and pork products.

Defensor also emphasized that movement of live pigs and pork products in areas under Protected and Free zones “can still be business as usual” provided that they will comply with the necessary permits needed.

Meanwhile, data indicated that a total of 374 hogs from one piggery farm and five backyard hog raisers in Oton, Iloilo were already depopulated or killed as of Oct15, 2022.

“Gin depopulate naton ang mga baboy sa sulod sang piggery nga affected kay may mga iban nga baboy nga nagmasakit kag napatay kag nagrapid test kita amu to nga nga may findings nga may ASF kita. So nag-execute na kita all along since yesterday,” Defensor said.