March 4, 2024

Forty-one out of the 77 towns and cities of the Cordillera are considered red zones of the African swine fever, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry.

In the Oct. 4 zoning status of regions on the ASF national zoning plan, majority of the municipalities of Benguet, Kalinga and Ifugao are in the red zone, while all municipalities of Apayao are in the red zone or the infected zones.

The red zones in Ifugao are the towns of Banaue, Kiangan, Lagawe, Lamut, Mayoyao, Alfonso Lista, Hingyon, Tinoc, and Asipulo; while Kalinga has six towns including Balbalan, Pasil, Pinukpuk, Tabuk City, Tanudan, and Tinglayan. The rest of the towns in Ifugao and Kalinga are in pink zones.

Benguet’s red zones are Atok, Baguio City, Buguias, Itogon, Kabayan, LT, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay while the other towns are pink zones.

For Mountain Province, the red zones are Bontoc, Paracelis, and Sadanga while red zones in Abra are Boliney, Daguioman, Licuan-Baay, Malibcong, Sallapadan, Tineg, and Tubo.

Only the province of Abra has light green zones or protected zones without cases of ASF, and are considered low-risk areas. These towns are Villaviciosa, Tayum, San Quintin, San Isidro, Pilar, Pidigan, Peñarrubia, Langiden, La Paz, Dolores, Danglas, and Bangued.

Meanwhile, the BAI stated towns that have been updated from red zones to pink zones are Tadian, Bauko, Besao, Natonin, Sagada in Mountain Province; Bokod, Kapangan, and Mankayan in Benguet; Rizal in Kalinga; Aguinaldo and Hungduan in Ifugao.

Red zones are considered infected zones, pink zones are buffer zones, which are areas adjacent to infected areas; light green zones are protected zones that share a common border with yellow zones which are surveillance zones; dark green zones are free zones, which remain free of the ASF virus.

The national zoning was conducted by the Department of Agriculture as a strategy to combat ASF in the country.

DA-Cordillera Information Officer Aida Pagtan said local government units have mounted precautions against ASF such as strict monitoring of the entry and exit of pork meat and pork products in their localities. – Ofelia C. Empian