The Davao City government has invested over P30-million for crisis intervention programs and projects to help farmers cope with losses during calamities that hit the city this year.

Of the P30 million under the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and the Annual Development Fund (ADF) of 2020, P6 million was used to acquire the veterinary mobile clinic and laboratory and animal rescue vehicles.

The funds of P2.282 were allocated for supplies and materials for animal rescue operations during disaster response under the “Sagip Hayop” while P3 million went to the operation and maintenance of quarantine checkpoints in Lasang, Lacson, Toril, Sasa wharf, and Davao-Samal port. The checkpoints are being held in coordination with the Task Force Davao.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the city also used P5,500,650 for the “Tabang sa Industriya sa Panghayupan” for the marketing assistance of livestock, poultry, and dairy farmers by buying their products and distributing the same to the vulnerable sector. This assistance was used during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in April and May this year. Identified households were also provided with food from this initiative during the lockdowns.

For the Crisis Intervention Program, some P8.5 million was shelled out from the City Mayor’s Office (CMO) budget as compensation to affected farmers whose hogs were culled due to the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Assistant City Veterinarian Dr. Esther Cherrie G. Rayos, in an interview with the City Information (CIO), said there were 950 farmers affected by the ASF outbreak in barangays Lamanan and Dominga in Calinan District and Inawayan, Toril where around 4,450 pigs were culled.

But Rayos was quick to add, “ASF in these barangays has already been controlled except for few isolated cases in Paquibato, maybe due to the inter-connectivity of our roads, that have yet to be verified.”

She said that ASF follows the movement of people. “It’s the people who are carriers of the infection through their vehicles and shoes,” she said.

The city government has continued to control the ASF outbreak by investing P5 million to procure supplies and materials for the prevention and control of the ASF and P999,633.75 for the massive ASF testing and diagnosis that targeted the surveillance of ASF in vulnerable areas.

Rayos, however, admitted tracing ASF sources and carriers are equally challenging as contact tracing for suspected coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients.

“Mahirap talaga kumbaga mag forward and backward tracing. Ang hirap hindi naming alam kung saan galling. Kinu-control nalang naming ang sakit (It is difficult to do forward and backward tracing. We don’t know where the disease came from. We just control it),” she added.

Asked if the city is ready for another outbreak, Rayos said, “We are intensifying our monitoring. Our personnel in the districts submit a weekly report. That is what we can do considering that there is no medicine or vaccine for ASF or even for avian influenza. If there are suspected symptoms, our personnel would immediately go to the area to collect samples.”

According to Rayos, the ASF was the worst outbreak that hit Davao City.

“We had outbreaks in the past but not as massive as the ASF. We had cholera outbreak but not as adverse as what we experienced with the ASF,” she said.

For the public’s safety, she reminded Dabawenyos to only buy meat products from reputable suppliers and that consumers who go to the markets and supermarkets must check the meat inspection certificates. CIO