LAOAG CITY – The provincial board of Ilocos Norte on Monday bared a total of PHP5 million from its calamity fund to provide recovery assistance to African swine fever (ASF)-hit farmers in the province.
Following its approval, Dr. Loida Valenzuela, provincial veterinarian, reported that the amount is meant to cover at least 325 out of the total of 2,300 affected hog growers in 11 local government units of Ilocos Norte which are not insured under the Department of Agriculture.
As agreed upon with the affected backyard raisers which will be prioritized in this project, Valenzuela said each recipient will receive PHP5,000 per head for adult (growers and breeders) and PHP1,500 per head for young or those that fall under a day-old piglet to weaners.
“The recovery assistance for adult is PHP5,000 per head at a maximum of 20 heads while the young is PHP1,500 per head at a maximum of 15 heads,” she added citing the initial aid to the uninsured affected backyard hog raisers will cover the periods of May to August and those that were affected from September onwards had already been funded for next year’s budget.
Currently, 19 out of the province’s 23 local government units are affected by ASF.
“Culling operations are still ongoing in the towns of Piddig and Paoay as well as the City of Batac, said Valenzuela as she appealed to all hog raisers not to slaughter their pigs in infected zones to lessen the probability of infecting others.
Since the first case of ASF was traced in Solsona town last May, the Provincial Veterinary Office has already recorded more than 10,000 culled pigs throughout Ilocos Norte.
Aside from providing food packs to the affected high raisers, the Ilocos Norte government has reappropriated some of its remaining calamity fund to assist those who are not covered with insurance packages from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). (PNA)