The Alyansa dagiti Mannalon iti Ilocos Norte (AMIN-KMP) expresses alarm over the spread of African Swine Flu in the province, now affecting 23 towns in 7 municipalities. This August, the municipalities of Vintar, Banna, and Carasi were included in the ASF red zone (infected zone), adding to the previously infected towns of Solsona, Marcos, Nueva Era, and Dingras. AMIN is the provincial chapter of KMP in Ilocos.
The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animan Industry requires culling of all hogs in a declared red zone. In the towns of Vintar and Banna in Ilocos Norte, an estimated 600 hogs have been culled since July. However, hog raisers have yet to receive aid and indemnification from the government. “Farmers and backyard hog raisers need immediate economic assistance. They have lost their main source of livelihood,” according to KMP leader Danilo Ramos.
In 2019, the DA said backyard raisers will receive P5,000 per ASF-culled pig. In April this year, the DA doubled the indemnity to P10,000 per ASF-culled pig after various national farmers organizations demanded. “Walang natanggap ang mga magbababoy na apektado ng ASF. Yun lang mga naka-insurance na inahing baboy ang mababayaran pero inaabot pa ng anim na buwan bago maaprubahan ang mga claim,” according to AMIN. Apart from the P10,000 indemnification,
Ramos brands as “misleading and deceitful” the recent celebratory pronouncement of DA Secretary William Dar that there are only 147 remaining active ASF cases in the entire country. “Kumonti man reported na mga kaso, nananatiling nasa red zone ang 541 syudad at munisipalidad. Sa mga ito, patuloy na pinapatay ang mga baboy at bawal mag-alaga, tapos walang ayuda. Paano na lang ang kabuhayan ng maliliit at lokal na hog raiser? Hindi naman pwedeng sa baboy lang tayo may malasakit at sa magbababoy ay wala,” the peasant leader explained.
AMIN said the DA-BAI failed to curb the spread of ASF in the country and only acted haphazardly when the situation was already out of control. The local peasant organization also lashed at the agency’s penchant to import pork and meat products.
“Instead of massive culling without indemnification, the DA must undertake massive testing of hogs, and provide sufficient and quick indemnification. Intensive support and subsidies for local small hog raisers should be ensured amid strict border controls and quarantines. Kailangang magbuhos ang gobyerno ng pondo para sa lahat ng ito, para hindi tuluyang mawasak ang lokal na industriya ng baboy sa bansa at tiyaking makarekober ang maliliit na Pilipinong hog raiser,” Ramos concluded. #
Reference: KMP Danilo Ramos, 09614551233