COTABATO is strengthening its control measures against the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) with the opening of its Provincial Veterinary Quarantine Services Center.
The facility, located along the main highway in Old Bulatukan, Makilala, has disinfection equipment and foot baths. All vehicles are required to undergo inspection, including passengers and cargo.
“Hope that we can save other livestock that are still alive. We need to protect our farmers and hog raisers considering that we are an agricultural province and this is the backbone of our economy,” Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said during the facility’s inauguration last week.
The establishment of the quarantine center was spearheaded by former provincial board member Loreto V. Cabaya, Jr., who sponsored an ordinance on comprehensive quarantine services. It is operated by the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) in collaboration with the governor’s office and the police.
Hog farmers in several towns in Cotabato, also known as North Cotabato, were first affected by ASF in 2020 and was contained in the same year. A new outbreak was reported at the start of 2022.
Last week, the OPVet culled 114 hogs in several villages as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
Ms. Mendoza has also sought the help of the military and the police in imposing a ban on pork meat and by-products from outside the province in southern Philippines.
Cotabato is bounded by five provinces and one city. — Maya M. Padillo