By Rey Anthony H. Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 04:24 PM February 23, 2021
Vehicle owners crossing to Bohol from Leyte and Mindanao will soon have to pay the fees for vehicle wash and disinfection as Bohol ramps up measures to ensure that the African Swine Fever (ASF) could not enter Bohol.
Among the leading preventive actions and in compliance with the Executive Order No. 56 series of 2020 which established the quarantine regulations in the entry of livestock cargo, livestock container vans, poultry and fishery feeds and raw materials for feeds into Bohol, as well as Executive Order No. 3 series of 2021 which totally bans hog transport vehicles and livestock container vans from entering Bohol, the disinfection can only happen after visible animal wastes are washed off the vehicles.
With the costs of equipment, water, and disinfectants could possibly affect other program components, Bohol Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz said that to make the mandatory disinfection sustainable, authorities should start exacting fees for the port services before their vehicles can go out of the port and move elsewhere in Bohol.
Done together with a strong border control, sturdy policy support, and the constant practice of biosecurity measures as well as information and education campaign in coastal towns and barangays, Bohol’s anti-ASF measures have also been getting strong support from the hog industry stakeholders, from small backyard growers to large-scale farm operators.
A team is now being formed to man the washing and disinfection services of all vehicles entering Bohol even if these are not loading hogs, with Bohol now totally banning the entry of non-Boholano owned hog transport vehicles via Executive Order No. 3, series of 2021.
“Vehicle owners, when left on their own to wash their vehicles, may not do so as thoroughly and it could still bring in the virus through its hard-to-reach areas, that a local team who will be trained which areas in the vehicle to clean, would be a better alternative, so a much better disinfection becomes more effective,” Lapiz explained during the consultative meeting.
Meanwhile, Marlito Uy, owner and general manager of Marcela Farms, has also pledged help to the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian’s ASF Program, as he donated high pressure car washers to facilitate the task of a more efficient disinfection.
Marcela Farms, which has its main farm in Lourdes Cortes, keeps nearly 40,000 heads in their farm.
A single case of ASF in their farm could potentially decimate the whole population.
With an annual production of over 50,000 metric tons and with backyard farmer raisers producing the 82 percent of the entire figure, any hog disease can potentially wipe out local hog population.
Lapiz also reported that they have requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for a supplemental budget for the ASF programs.
The program has also a standby fund of P2-M earlier allocated for the Provincial ASF response. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)