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Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, in his capacity as acting mayor of the city, signed last September 5 an Executive Order that will help maintain Davao City and the country free from the African Swine Fever.

Executive Order No. 37 (E.O. 37), which created the African Swine Fever Task Force, primarily aims to protect the city from the African Swine Fever (ASF), a severe viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs.

The World Organization for Animal Health has blamed the ASF for serious production and economic losses. ASF outbreaks have been reported not only in Africa and parts of Europe but also recently in Asia.

“While the Philippines remains to be free of African Swine Fever, there is a possibility that the ASF may hit the country and reach the City in such proportions that would require urgent, immediate, and integrated action and response,” Duterte said.

He said this situation should be maintained to protect the Philippine Swine Industry, with an estimated worth of P200 billion.

“There is a need to create a body that would look into the formulation of appropriate policies and implementation of programs to protect the public and the swine industry from the threats of ASF in Davao City,” he said.

To do this, Duterte created the ASF Task Force that will implement the Davao City African Swine Fever Protection Program. The ASF Task Force will be headed by the city mayor with the city administrator as authorized representative. The City Veterinarian’s Office is co-chairperson.

Among the member departments and agencies are the: City Planning and Development Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Agriculturist Office, City Health Office, City Information Office, and the Hog Raisers (Commercial and Backyard) as Private Sector Representatives among others.

The ASF Task Force will have the support of technical support teams that will responsible for the preservation and protection of the city’s swine industry namely the Rapid Action Team; Surveillance Team; Quarantine Team; and the Census Team with various agencies and departments as members.

The Rapid Action Team will carry out the immediate diagnosis of suspect premises and the initiation and implementation of the stamping out procedures while the Surveillance Team will conduct regular surveillance and profiling of swine diseases in the identified priority areas.

On the other hand, the Quarantine Team will ensure the implementation of quarantine measures in the ASF Contingency Plan while the Census Team will conduct periodic identification and consolation of data on swine population and location. The IEC Team will ensure adequate awareness of the general public on matters and updates pertaining to ASF. CIO