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The unfortunate entry of the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) last September 2022 in Tacurong has significantly affected the city's pig farming and swine industry just like the rest of the country.
Immediately after its first detection, the City Government of Tacurong activated the City African Swine Fever Task Force (CATF) led by City Mayor Joseph George L. Lechonsito and the City Veterinary Services Office.
Along with this formation is the formulation of the 'Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of African Swine Fever in the City of Tacurong'. Both executive and legislative departments worked hand-in-hand to adopt and execute the action plan in the shortest time possible.
Since then, CATF has been hard at work in the prevention, detection, surveillance, and depopulation of ASF-positive pig farms in the city— strategies stipulated in the CATF action plan and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) guidelines.
To date, there had been 950 blood samples submitted to BAI for laboratory testing and 50 came back positive for ASF. These cases were identified to come from 15 barangays in the city, comprising 75% of the 20 total barangays. This necessitated the declaration of Tacurong City under a State of Calamity on October 10, 2022.
As for the ASF-identified pig farms, the City Veterinary Services Office strictly implemented the BAI-issued protocols: restricted movement and depopulation within the 500m radius of the infected site; restricted movement, surveillance, and blood testing within the 1-km radius; and mandatory monitoring and reporting of swine disease within the 7-km radius from ground zero.
A total of 1,332 swine have been culled by the city government and Department of Agriculture (DA) from 144 affected households and farms.
However, included in the CATF action plan is compensation, specifically to non-Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) insured ASF- affected farmers. Through the city's calamity fund and Ordinance No. 004 series of 2022, the city was able to pay out a total of P3 Million out of the P4 Million allotted indemnity fund.
To date, there are three new active cases of ASF in Barangay Upper Katungal, New Lagao, and San Pablo. The City Veterinary Services Office is currently implementing the depopulation and surveillance protocol. Indemnity of the non-PCIC insured farmers from these affected barangays will be processed as soon as the DA approves of the number of culled swine.
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