The Local Government Unit of Ormoc City is now free of African Swine Fever (ASF). This was formally declared on February 18, 2022 by the Local Chief Executive, Honorable Richard I. Gomez.
The Local Government Unit of Ormoc City is the first city and the second municipality in the Eastern Visayas region to be declared as ASF free. With this, it is now considered as a buffer zone. ASF infection was immediately stopped ten days after it was detected on June 22, 2021. Indemnification was worth P785,000.00, with 157 hogs and 22 farmers affected.
In her message, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 08 Regional Executive Director Angel C. Enriquez thanked the local government unit of Ormoc City, through the leadership of Mayor Gomez, the Sangguniang Bayan and the barangay officials. She congratulated them on effectively controlling ASF, saying Ormoc City “is one for the books” for having controlled ASF within just a month. However, she reminded them to continue strictly enforcing biosecurity measures in the farm. At the same time, she suggested to the LGU, as part of its City Development Plan, to consider establishing an animal diagnostic laboratory to support the efforts of its City Veterinary Office.
For his part, National Coordinator of ASF Prevention and Control Program of Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Quezon City, Dr. Samuel Joseph Castro also reiterated Director Enriquez’s congratulations to the LGU of Ormoc City for being the only city in the region to be declared as ASF free, or having graduated from infected to buffer zone.
He explained that the Babay ASF sa Barangay is a National Program designed by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Quezon City to prevent and control ASF. At the heart of its five components is LGU engagement, as seen in the leadership of the LGU of Ormoc City. He shared the campaign’s battlecry against ASF: “May magagawa ako, lahat tayo may magagawa”. Lastly, he encouraged the LGU to share the best practices that the city of Ormoc has done to control ASF so that this can be replicated by the other municipalities. “We have a long fight ahead of us, hence, we need to help each other,” he stressed.