Photo courtesy by Dr. Lyre Murao of University of the Philippines
MANILA — The Quezon City local government has passed an ordinance that now prohibits pig and poultry raising within the city in a bid to protect QCitizens from various public health issues.
In accordance with City Ordinance 2990-2020, authored by Councilors Franz Pumaren, Diorella Maria Sotto-Antonio, and Eric Medina, no piggery or poultry farms for the purposes of food or meat production should be allowed within the territorial jurisdiction of the city.
The City Veterinary Department recently reported that 14 out of 17 barangays that previously had backyard farms and piggeries have phased these out.
“As of today, there are only three barangays (Payatas, Sta. Lucia and Old Balara) with 26 piggeries. They vowed to close these down by November 2021,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
It was learned that even the Quezon City Zoning Ordinance also prohibits piggeries and poultries as the city doesn’t have any agricultural or rural zones that allow pig or poultry raising.
“Bago sila magsara, sisiguraduhin natin na mababawi nila ‘yung dapat nilang kita at bibigyan sila ng alternative na pangkabuhayan para magkaroon sila ng iba pang source of income para sa kanilang pamilya (Before they close down, we will make sure that they can return their investment and will earn their estimated earnings and we will also provide them with alternative livelihood so they will have other source of income to support their families),” Mayor Belmonte added.
According to City Veterinary Department head Dr. Ana Marie Cabel, aside from operating in an urban area, backyard piggeries also violate various environmental and sanitation guidelines.
Backyard poultry and piggeries also tend to pollute tributaries because such businesses often allow waste to flow into riverways.
“Bilang alternative sa pangkabuhayan nila noon, binigyan natin ng livelihood options ang piggery owners. Sa ngayon, mayroon nang 118 recipients ng livelihood programs natin through our Small Business Cooperatives Development and Promotions Office (As alternative to their livelihood before, we gave livelihood options to piggery owners. To date, we have 118 recipients of livelihood programs through our Small Business Cooperatives Development and Promotions Office,” Cabel said.
In February, the city also turned over urban aquaculture starter kits to hog raisers who had lost their livelihood to African Swine Fever in 2019.
Empty pigpens and vacant lots are now utilized as fish pens and backyard fishponds where they can grow tilapia and hito.
Some hog raisers were given electronic tricycles from the Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) as an alternative livelihood. (ai/mtvn)