By Jim Lloyd Dongiapon
Sultan Kudarat is the sole province in the entire SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, General Santos City) Region that has yet to record a single case of the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus since the Department of Agriculture (DA) first detected it in July 2019.
To help maintain the ASF-free status of the province, Mayor Joseph George Lechonsito of Tacurong City issued Executive Order (EO) number 28 series of 2022 , or the “Executive Order Adopting, Localizing, and Implementing Provincial Ordinance no. 50 Series of 2021, Otherwise Known as ‘African Swine Fever Prevention Ordinance of Sultan Kudarat’.”
The EO bars the entry of pigs, pork, and pork by-products into the city.
It also activates the City African Swine Fever Task Force (CAFT) for the enforcement of its provisions, with the Office for the Veterinary Services as the lead implementing agency.
Checkpoints have been set up by the Office for the Veterinary Services, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), at the city’s entry and exit points to monitor swine, pork, and its by-products passing through the locality.
On the other hand, Section 5 of the order regulates the transportation of the aforementioned goods from ASF-free areas in the Philippines. Delivery vehicles are only allowed to pass through the city subject to compliance with the documentary veterinary quarantine requirements.
Those who would violate the EO will be fined ₱3,000 for the first offense, and ₱5,000 for the second and succeeding offenses.
Confiscated swine, pork, pork by-products, and boar semen will be disposed of through burning or other sanitary methods by the LGU with the supervision of the Provincial or City Veterinary Office, in coordination with the DA, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and any appropriate agency of the government.