African Swine Fever infects hogs in 62 towns in Western Visayas

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA)-6 reported on Monday, June 26, that 62 towns in Western Visayas region have hogs infected with African Swine Fever (ASF).

Hogs in 13 Iloilo towns infected with African Swine Fever

HOGS ready to be transported in Iloilo province.  (Tara Yap)

“ASF has now penetrated the region,” said Jose Albert Barrogo, OIC regional director of DA-6.

No province in Western Visayas region is spared anymore as Hamtic town, Antique province has confirmed ASF cases among its hogs.

Barrogo said around 500 hog raisers have been affected by ASF in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces.

However, there is no data on the financial losses suffered by the region’s hog industry.

With the entire region affected by ASF, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC)-6 has suspended insurance coverage for hog raisers.

“We will wait until the ASF issue is cleared,” said PCIC-6 Regional Manager Eva Ulie.

The PCIC-6 had insurance coverage for 110 heads of hog last year when the ASF started infecting hogs in the region.

Meanwhile, the DA-6 said  that non-infected hogs can still be transported and traded as long as it is within the same status area.

Barrogo said that Western Visayas, as a red status zone, is allowed to transport and trade hogs to other parts of the country under red status zone.

He said it is stipulated in the protocol set by the DA Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Barrogo admitted that the various rulings of local governments banning transportation and trading of hogs have caused confusion.