June 23, 2024

Swine repopulation efforts in the Cordillera continue as the region still faces the effects of the African swine fever on pig population.
The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera reported 519 sentinel pigs were distributed to 446 farmers in the region with Benguet receiving 222 heads, Abra with 137, Mountain Province with 132, Ifugao with 78, and Apayao with 70.
Sentinel pigs are experimental piglets used as a monitoring tool to determine if the ASF virus is still present in the farms in the identified ASF-free areas.
One of the sources of sentinel stocks is the Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center.
The agency has also distributed from June 2020 to December 2021 P30.43 million as indemnification payments to 1,154 ASF-affected farmers in Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, Abra, and Mountain Province.   
Last month, the agency distributed a total of P570,000 worth of checks as indemnification payments to 15 swine backyard raisers in Bauko, Mountain Province where hogs were culled due to the ASF.
DA-CAR Executive Director Cameron Odsey said his office is partnering with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation for the insurance of ASF-affected hog raisers.
A total of 3,311 farmers are insured by the PCIC with Apayao having the bulk with 2,145 farmers, Ifugao with 107, Abra with 374, Benguet with 79, and Mountain Province with 606 farmers. The number of insured animals in the region is 11,196. 
Aside from the repopulation efforts of the agency, technical assistance is also given to the various provinces through the training of barangay biosecurity officers.
The 224 trained biosecurity officers in the region will be tasked to monitor and report any possible threat regarding the ASF to the municipal and provincial governments. 
As of December 2021, only seven percent of 1,776 total barangays of the region are affected by ASF.
Abra has 15 affected barangays in eight affected towns; Apayao has 33 barangays in six towns; Benguet has 19 barangays in nine towns; Ifugao has 24 barangays in eight towns; Kalinga has 25 barangays in seven towns; and Mountain Province has eight barangays in six towns. – Ofelia C. Empian