ANTI-ASF SQUAD. Antique Provincial Board Member Karmilla Dimamay sponsors for final reading of the ordinance, "Adopting and Implementing the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bantay African Swine Fever (ASF) sa Barangay" to protect the swine industry in Antique during their regular session on Monday (Feb. 6, 2023). Dimamay said the ASF up to now still has no available vaccine and no known cure. (PNA photo by Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Antique continues to strengthen the protection of the local swine industry with the passage of an ordinance adopting and implementing the Department of Agriculture (DA) “Bantay African swine fever (ASF) sa Barangay” or “Babay ASF Program” on Monday.

“The successful control effort lies with strong collaboration between the DA, its relevant agencies, concerned local government units (LGUs) and stakeholders taking ownership of such programs benefiting the farmers,” said Board Member Karmila Rose Dimamay, the sponsor of the ordinance during their regular session.

She said ASF is a high-impact transboundary animal disease (TAD) that continues to affect the swine population with no vaccine and no known cure to date.

Antique Provincial Veterinarian (ProVet) Public Health Division chief, Dr. Marco Rafael Ardamil, in a separate interview, said that with the approval of the ordinance, ASF technical support teams will be created from the provincial down to the barangay level.

“Four technical support teams namely rapid action, surveillance, quarantine, and information, education and communication (IEC) will be established up to the barangay level,” he said.

The rapid action team headed by ProVet will carry out an immediate diagnosis of suspect premises and for securing the borders of the province of Antique which is adjacent to Iloilo province where the ASF cases continue to spread.

The surveillance team will conduct profiling of swine diseases aside from conducting surveillance; the quarantine team supervises and controls the animal movement in the suspected areas; and information, education and communication (IEC) team will ensure adequate awareness of the general public on matters and updates on ASF.

“The Executive Order 229 issued by Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao on October 18, 2022 only then prohibits the entry into the province hogs, boar semen, pork and pork products including food items containing pork from ASF affected areas, but with the newly approved ordinance the contingency and mitigation measures to be undertaken up to the barangay level are already included,” Ardamil said. (PNA)