DA chief declares Abuyog town in Leyte as ‘ASF free’


Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar has declared Abuyog, Leyte, as free from the African swine fever (ASF) after more than 200 days of eradicating the dreaded pig disease.

In a news statement, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Dar made the declaration on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at the Abuyog Community College, about 211 days since the detection of the first ASF case in Barangay Canaporong, Abuyog, Leyte.

The DA said Abuyog has transitioned from a red zone to pink zone following the successful implementation of the Bantay sa Barangay (BaBay) ASF program, installation of Barangay Biosecurity Officers, and massive disinfection.

The DA said the town recorded a total of 92 hogs affected by ASF across 41 barangays in the first quarter. The last reported ASF case was on March 15, according to the DA.

The DA said Dar lauded the efforts made by local government units (LGUs) in the whole province of Leyte in eradicating the ASF.

“I believe that you have the biggest responsibility in our initiative to fight ASF. We at DA will always be here to support you,” he said.

For his part, Abuyog Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya thanked DA for its prompt assistance to the town.

“When the first ASF case was detected, key officials from DA regional office stayed in our town for a week to assist us in our fight against the animal disease. I am very grateful to DA,” he said.

The DA said the affected hog raisers were indemnified with a total amount of P16.92 million, with each farmer receiving financial assistance for a maximum of 20 heads of swine.

The DA urged local hog raisers to enroll in the indemnification program of the Philippine Crops Insurance Corp. (PCIC).

At a recent news briefing, DA said, as of October 7, 2021, the total number of barangays nationwide with active cases of ASF is currently at 71 across 31 cities and municipalities.

The DA noted that Ilocos Sur province accounted for the bulk of the active ASF cases at 43 followed by Ilocos Norte at 10.

Nonetheless, the DA said about 494 cities and municipalities in the country have not reported any ASF inspections in the past 90 days.

The Philippines is still battling the fatal ASF more than two years after confirming its first outbreak in 2019. The spread of ASF nationwide has resulted in the culling of over 400,000 pigs and shrinking of the country’s pork supply.

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