Bukidnon strengthens biosecurity measures, orientation seminar on ASF held

Malaybalay City, Bukidnon- A total of 43 ASF frontliners from the municipalities and cities of the Province of Bukidnon attended the 'Orientation Seminar on Border Control Measures Against African Swine Fever (ASF)'. The two batch activity commenced on September 21-22, 2020 at Veranda, Casisang, Malaybalay City. It was a collaboration between the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center X (ATI-RTC X) and the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) of the Province of Bukidnon.

The activity aims to educate the Veterinarians and Provincial Veterinary Sanitation Checkpoint (PVSC) personnel who serve as Veterinary Quarantine Officers (VQC) and Animal Quarantine Inspectors (AQI) who serve as ASF frontliners assigned in the borders of Bukidnon. They will be informed on the rules and regulations pertinent to the local movement of commodities which could carry the ASF virus. They will also be equipped with scientific and legal tools necessary to prevent the entry of ASF in the province as well as manage the outbreak should it occur.

Due to the increasing number of ASF-positive cases in the nearby provinces, this brings alarm and threat to the swine industry in the province. Bukidnon is said to be the largest pork producer in Mindanao; the reason why it needs to strengthen its biosecurity measures. ASF is a contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. This is one of the most severe viral diseases of pigs but cannot infect human. This is a major threat to pig production, food security and biodiversity in the world.

In his message, Planning Officer II Philip D. Villegas welcomed all the participants and requested for a strong support for the said activity. He added that Bukidnon's neighboring provinces were already affected with the virus and urged every one to be vigilant so that the ASF will not enter and affect the swine industry. "We are grateful that we are sufficient with the meat products here in Bukidnon that is why we should all help and protect our province to be ASF-free", Mr. Villegas further said.

For the rest of the seminar, Dr. Scarlet V. Soriano, Dr. Jorge A. Manzalay, Jr., Atty. Alberto R. Lagamon, Dr. Julesben Caesar Q. Maquiling, and Mr. Alistair Jude E. Bacaoco will serve as the resource person. (written and submitted by: Aden Jade B. Bonggo)