Davao City--To ensure that the province of Davao Oriental will remain free of African swine fever (ASF) virus, the provincial government conducted a veterinary quarantine procedure training for village watchmen or “barangay tanod” on Monday.
Some 30 barangay tanod members, also residents of the barangays where the checkpoints were strategically installed, participated in the training held at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Operation Center.
In a statement on Tuesday, the said personnel will serve as additional manpower to become force multipliers in enforcing quarantine procedures for the ASF in the province.
Provincial veterinarian, Dr. Eric Dagmang said the training will strengthen the enforcement of the checkpoints in the entry and exit points of the province.
“This has long been planned by the province after the ASF-affected the livestock in our neighboring provinces, like Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur, and portion in Calinan, Davao City,” Dagmang said.
He also added that even before ASF hit Mindanao, there were already measures implemented in the province, like the creation of the ASF Task Force, and the banning of pork and pork products from ASF-affected areas.
However, since the quarantine is only a portion of the many tasks of the law enforcers, the province is capacitating personnel who will not only augment the manpower but also efficiently implement the ASF quarantine at the checkpoints.
“These checkpoints are located in Barangay Maylaya in Cateel town, Barangay Carmen in Boston town, Barangay Pintatagan in Banaybanay, and Barangay Marayag in Lupon,” Dagmang said. He added that the initiative is an upgrading of their measures against ASF.
“We are also strictly checking their documents like the veterinary health certificate and the veterinary shipping permit. Once they are not complied with, cargoes or the shipment will be sent back to their origin,” he added.
Dagmang also appealed to the public to patronize local pork products to avoid problems and inconveniences, like confiscation of their products, as they are trying their best to make considerations in dealing with intercepted products, like sending them back to their origin.
“The ASF has the biggest effect in the economy, particularly to the hog industry, and to the workers behind the industry. Let us not wait for this to happen. Let us not give any chance for the ASF to enter our province. So, we really need public’s support and cooperation, since this is for the good of all and province,” Dagmang said.