TACLOBAN CITY- The government has intensified its disease response against the African Swine Fever (ASF) as more municipalities and cities in Eastern Visayas are being affected.

During the Regional Inter-agency Task Force Meeting on Monday, Dr. Ernestine Ibañez, a veterinarian from the Department of Agriculture 8 (DA-8) said, the response efforts mean providing technical and support services to empower the local government units in the program implementation at the farm and community levels.

“In order to control and prevent ASF at the barangay level, some steps would involve disease surveillance and monitoring, disease reporting, disease investigation, disease response, implementation of biosecurity protocols, zoning, recovery and repopulation, “ Ibañez said.

Aside from stricter border inspection and the establishment of ASF command centers in various areas of the region, DA also conducted ASF Biosecurity Officers’ Training wherein 151 were trained.

In Eastern Visayas, out of the 143 local government units, 26.6% have been affected by ASF comprising some 38 municipalities and cities.

Of the six provinces, Leyte has recorded the greatest number of cases with 25 municipalities and cities affected, five in Samar, three in Northern Samar, four in Eastern Samar, one in Southern Leyte while Biliran remains ASF-free.

To date, a total of 13,251 hogs were already culled in the region and some 1,311 hog raisers that were affected of the ASF have already availed of the indemnification program of DA. (LDL/CBA/PIA-8)