ASF can deal PH economy a bad beating, says DA official

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Davao City said African Swine Flu (ASF) will give the economy more beating than it will cause health risks to humans.


DA-Davao disease monitoring and surveillance unit chief Armie Capuyan on Wednesday, September 11, downplayed the risk to human health by the ASF but cautioned it will certainly hurt the hog industry.

“We are safe from African Swine Fever. However, ang mas malaking concern natin dyan is ang hog industry po natin dahil sa nakita po natin sa ibang bansa na affected ng ASF like China and other countries, millions po ng kanilang baboy ang namatay,” Capuyan said during the AFP-PNP Press Corps media briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Capuyan disclosed that Davao Region is among the top producers of hogs in the entire Philippines with more than 940,000 swine heads recorded as of January 2019.

“Tulad ng nangyari sa China, hindi natin gustong mangyari yan dito sa atin particularly here in Region 11,” Capuyan said.

The DA official also explained that an area which tested positive of ASF will be culled up to one kilometer radius. Culling is a way of eradicating animals in a herd to prevent the spread of disease.

“Ibig sabihin po, kahit isang baboy lang ang tinamaan ng ASF, hanggang isang kilometer po ang i-cu-culling. Mauubos po talaga yung farm hindi dahil sa sakit but sa culling,” Capuyan said.

Meantime, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte created an African Swine Fever Task Force, primarily aims to protect the city from the severe viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs.

Duterte’s primary thrust is to protect the Philippine swine industry, with an estimated worth of P200 billion.

The ASF Task Force will implement the Davao City African Swine Fever Protection Program. The ASF Task Force will be headed by the city mayor with the city administrator as authorized representative. The City Veterinarian’s Office is co-chairperson.

Among the member departments and agencies are the City Planning and Development Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Agriculturist Office, City Health Office, City Information Office, and the Hog Raisers (Commercial and Backyard) as Private Sector Representatives among others.