ILOILO CITY – The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office in Western Visayas (DA RFU 6) continues to intensify its awareness campaign on African swine fever (ASF) through social media platforms Facebook (FB) and YouTube (YT).
James Earl Ogatis, head of the DA Regional Agri-Fishery Section (RAFIS) and the one who initiated the campaign, said on Tuesday his office saw the need to launch the online campaign to protect the region’s PHP20 billion swine industry in the region.
“Those who composed the industry could be our siblings, friends, and relatives once we will be hit by the ASF. It could not be denied that it is getting closer to us because only four regions, including Western Visayas, have no ASF,” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Currently, he said Western Visayas is the one supplying Luzon, including National Capital Region (NCR).
Since January until June this year, the region was able to ship 143,817 live hogs to Luzon.
The campaign dubbed “ASF, Istoryahan ‘ta!” started on June 7 and will last for three months.
Apart from the Facebook page and YouTube channel of the DA RAFIS, it is also being shared in the FB account of the members of the ASF Task Force in Western Visayas, particularly provincial and city veterinarians.
“We believe that this pandemic, everything is online. And our farmers, especially hog raisers are updated on social media. Our target audience are hog raisers, agri-preneurs, LGU (local government unit) partners, personnel in the port of entries, and the private sector,” he said.
He added that during the pilot episode with Dr. Jonic Natividad, head of the regions ASF Task Force, they only provided an overview of the disease but in the next episodes, they will be engaging provincial veterinarians who will explain the initiatives of their respective provinces to ensure that the region is free from ASF and the utilization of bio-security measures.
Meantime, he said the provinces in the region are armed with executive orders to ensure that pork products and by-products coming from areas with ASF could not enter Western Visayas.
Natividad said in addition to Western Visayas, free from ASF are Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and parts of Region IV-B, particularly Palawan and Mindoro provinces.
The program can be viewed every Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the DA Western Visayas FB page. (PNA)