SWINE RAISING. Hogs in a piggery in Negros Occidental province. The provincial government has been allotted PHP4 million by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program for distribution to households with reported swine deaths. (PNA Bacolod file photo)

BACOLOD CITY – Hog raisers in Negros Occidental province who suffered losses due to swine deaths will receive financial aid from the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Friday the initial cash assistance allotted to the province is PHP4 million which will be distributed to the affected households.

“We’re looking at only PHP2,000 (for each household). We will have to re-assess and see who are those that really need assistance. With that budget, I’m afraid not everybody will be covered,” he said.

Lacson said the local government units (LGUs) can also assist the affected hog raisers. “What the province will be giving is just like an augmentation."

In Negros Occidental, losses from swine deaths due to hog cholera and other illnesses already breached the PHP100 million mark on Thursday.

Total fatalities have reached at least 8,849 heads, affecting 1,697 raisers in 14 LGUs.

A case of African swine fever (ASF) has already been detected in Pulupandan town.

Lacson said he has sent a letter to Regional Executive Director Jose Albert Barrogo, officer-in-charge of the Department of Agriculture-Western Visayas (DA-6), reiterating the biosecurity protocols being followed by the provincial government.

“We assured him that we are following the protocols. Even without any declaration (of an ASF case), we are following the protocols set by the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry,” he added.

The governor said that in Pulupandan, Mayor Miguel Antonio Peña has already ordered the culling of hogs within the 500-meter radius from the site of infection.

The area has already been isolated and placed under observation for 15 days since the end of May. (PNA)