Following the distribution of sentinel animals in the municipalities of Sinait and Cabugao in Ilocos Sur, the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos Region continued on in the municipalities of Balaoan and Luna, La Union with the distribution of 195 heads of pig sentinel for the ASF-affected backyard hog raisers that is worth P9.75 million today.

In a separate venue of the distribution, 45 individuals from the 19 barangays of Balaoan, La Union and 60 heads for 20 individuals from the seven barangays in Luna, La Union, received from DA a total of 135 heads of piglets at Brgy. Butubut, Balaoan, and Brgy. Busel-Busel, Luna, respectively.

As part of the guidelines of availing such a project, each beneficiary was given P50,000 worth of project that forms include three heads of piglets, 1 sack of starter, and 2 sacks of grower feed plus drugs and biologics which could last to at least 40-45 days.

Having been pre-identified by the office of the municipal agriculturist, the beneficiaries have undergone a technical briefing on the operational management system of the project conducted by the Livestock Banner Program of DA in tandem with the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian on October 13, 2022.

Extending support to the implementation of the sentineling program, La Union Governor Raphaelle Veronica Ortega-David, together with La Union First District Representative Francisco Paulo Ortega, joined the distribution in Luna alongside the members of the Sangguniang Bayan in Luna led by Luna Mayor Gary Pinzon.

In her message to the recipients, Governor David reiterated the need for the recipients to register in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture or the RSBSA to avail of the many benefits that agriculture would provide to the farmers and livestock raisers especially on the animal insurance through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

Dr. Domingo Bobby Calub III, the Provincial Veterinarian of La Union reminded the beneficiaries of the project to be more proactive and vigilant in safeguarding the possible entry of animal diseases in the province like ASF considering that there are still reported cases of ASF in the Visayas region.

He likewise reiterated the non-feeding of swill foods to the animals and to be on guard for animals “in doubt” that are entering from areas that still have reported cases. In such cases, Dr. Calub enjoined the beneficiaries to immediately report them to the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian.

Expressing his support for the DA’s endeavor, La Union First District Representative Francisco Ortega encouraged and reminded the beneficiaries to maximize the benefits of these interventions to help them not only improve their livelihood but to contribute as well in the region’s economic growth and ensure the provision of safe, accessible and affordable hog meat supply in the region.###