January 29, 2023

The Department of Agriculture-backed piggery project of the city in San Pascual, Tuba, Benguet is starting to gain acceptance from the host community.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan on Feb. 3 told the Management Committee headed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong they are awaiting an update on the passage of a resolution of acceptance of the project by the municipality as some residents expressed appreciation of the project during the public consultation they conducted recently. 
She said they will set the ground-breaking ceremony anytime this month but the construction will start after the Environmental Compliance Certificate is accomplished.
Two rounds of consultations were done between the city government and the DA-Cordillera and some community representatives were toured to similar facilities in Concepcion, Tarlac and in Mangatarem, Pangasinan where they witnessed how the facilities are operated.
The mayor said the DA has increased its fund assistance for the project from P10 million to P12M while Thailand-based CPF food company will provide training and basic materials for the hog raising facility.
The state-of-the-art commercial piggery farm which will employ a fully computerized operation requiring minimal manpower will be located at the 10,000-square meter lot in San Pascual, the owner of which represented by Engr. Francis Cuyop, consented to have the lot used for the project for 10 years under a usufruct accord signed recently.
Among the grantees of the project are the backyard hog raisers whose piggeries were closed beginning Jan. 30 after being given a grace period to wind down their operation.
The piggery closure will stem the pollution of rivers in the city caused by the pigpens directly dumping their wastes to the tributaries t.
Some of the pigpen owners agreed to organize themselves into a cooperative now called the Baguio Animal Raisers Cooperative.
Magalong said the project is an ideal livelihood alternative for the displaced hog raisers as the two piggery facilities to be built in the proposed area are expected to house 1,200 hogs with harvest at least twice a year.
Asst. City Environment and Parks Management Officer Rhenan Diwas said they have identified more than 200 hog raisers in the city and more are expected as the barangays were urged to submit their list in relation to the mayor’s order to stop the operation of piggeries in the city by Jan. 30.
Those who will not comply will face demolition of their pigpens, confiscation of their hogs, and criminal charges for violation of the city’s Environment Code and related national laws. – Aileen P. Refuerzo