At the height of COVID19, the cases of African Swine Fever (AFS) in Cagayan Valley significantly dropped down in the last forty-five days.

From the reported 686 death cases midweek of February 2020, it went down to a record low of 122 cases representing 82 percent decrease.

According to Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo of the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA-RFO 02), the reasons of the reduction of mortalities are due to strengthening of quarantine checkpoints, continuous disease surveillance, information dissemination and strong collaboration with local government units (LGUs), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), National Meat Inspections Service (NMIS) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Also, the Enhanced Community Quarantine against COVID19 minimized the transport of undocumented hogs, pork, and pork products,” he said.

“We are hoping that ASF shall be eradicated and will no longer contribute to the abnormal situation that we are now experiencing due to COVID19.”

As of March 23, 2020, there are twenty-five ASF affected municipalities in the region covering fifty (50) barangays, 1,535 swine death, and 2,333 culled.

For Isabela, there are sixteen (16) municipalities which include Quezon, Aurora,Cordon, San Manuel, Gamu, Roxas, Mallig, Quirino, Jones, Echague, Luna, San Isidro, San Guillermo, Reina Mercedes, San Pablo, and Ramon. So far, the last case happened in Ramon last March 20, 2020.

In Cagayan, there are seven (7) city/municipalities, which include Tuguegarao City, Solana, Amulung, Allacapan, Iguig, Baggao, and Lallo. Its last case was seen in Baggao on March 23, 2020.

Furthermore, DA-RFO 02 will now apply for the declaration of Tuguegarao City as ASF free zone since the last case was in November 2019, and no case observed since then.

ASF also affected one each for Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces, Bayombong and Saguday, respectively, and no further cases were reported.

As per Regional Technical Director for Operations Roberto C. Busania, the office had already requested the amount from DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) needed for the indemnification totaling to P4.7M.

“We hope for the immediate release of the budget so we can compensate our farmers who were affected by ASF,” he said.

(With reports from Hector Tabbun)