DA distributes P32-M worth of cattle, poultry ton ASF-hit areas in Rizal

April Rafales, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2020 12:59 PM

MANILA - The agriculture department on Friday distributed P32-million worth of livelihood assistance to hog raisers in Rodriguez, Rizal to augment income after the town was hit by the African swine fever.

At least 711 hog raisers fro 6 villages received 105 cattle, 305 goats, 30,000 layer chickens, 3,100 broiler chickens and 1,500 quails, Department of Agriculture (DA) officials said.

The first ASF outbreak in the country was recorded in Rodriguez, Rizal in 2019, where at least 7,000 hogs died due to the disease.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Thursday declared the town ASF-free.

"We monitored since September to January, that’s 5 and a half months, wala nang occurrence after nung unang salvo (there were no more occurrences after the first salvo)," he said.

Hog raisers in Rodriguez should still wait for 6 months before restarting piggery operations because the possibility of transferring the virus from infected areas back to Rodriguez remains, the DA chief said.

While Rodriguez has been cleared of the ASF, Binangonan - another Rizal town - tested positive for the hog disease this month, DA officials said.

Around 20 pigs have died and less than 100 pigs were culled, data from the DA showed.

The DA earlier blamed smuggled pork products from China as the cause of the ASF's spread in the Philippines.

"'Yong mga food waste from hotels, restaurants, even the airlines, 'yong mga food waste nila ay dinump sa Rodriguez, Rizal. At may nagkolekta ng swill feeds at ipinakain sa baboy. Doon nag-umpisa," Dar said in an interview in November 2019.