BENGUET, May 27, 2022 – In the bid to fight African Swine Fever (ASF), beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Development (DA-SAAD) Program from the Angkileng in Sagada, Mountain Province practice good governance and indigenous knowledge to maintain the virus-free status of the area.
Ms. Jean Pumecda, SAAD beneficiary and Angkileng Barangay Secretary relays that measures to keep the area free from ASF are extensive, and owing to community support and vigilance, the barangay remains ASF Free.
In Sagada, there are four barangays infected with ASF, namely, Patay, Dagdag, Demang and Ambasing. Ms. Pumecda said that the entry points to the village have been secured with signs and patrols preventing those who may come in between 6 am to 6 pm, as well as confiscation of meat products residents bring.
Furthermore, Ms. Pumecda shared that all these initiatives were done in coordination with the community driver’s association (an informal group of drivers in the community) and community members who are vigilant in inspections, confiscation, and disposal of pork and its by-products brought into the barangay.
In line with the goal to keep the virus out of their area, the elders in the community tapped on their Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP). On April 17, village elders performed a ritual called Sedey wherein traditional prayers are recited with the simultaneous butchering of chickens by the elders in the village. Afterward, the entire community adhered to the Ubaya, a mandatory rest day after the ritual, banning exit or entry to the area.
ARO members were in charge of guarding the checkpoints to ensure Ubaya was followed.
In an Executive Order issued on April 29, 2022, by Mr. Domingo Salicub, Anikleng’s Barangay Captain, the entry of live pigs, fresh pork, and any processed goods out of swine to the barangay was prohibited.
Mr. Salicub said the barangay is an agricultural community and almost 95% of households are engaged in backyard hog raising which serves as one of their main sources of income thus, once infected would greatly affect the economic status of the community.
Biosecurity measures were also set in place like only one family member is allowed entry to pigpens with proper boots to be used only in the area. Proper covering of pigpens to prevent flies, dogs, and chickens to roam and the installation of disinfecting stations (pigadan) are also observed. The bringing in of an arasaw or swill has also been prohibited for added safety.
If found guilty, the barangay will sanction each violator with payment for all damages incurred once the swine has tested positive for ASF.
Pork prices in Angkileng range from Php 280-290 per kilo with supply ample for the community to partake in.
Ms. Pumecda said there are 70 fatteners and 150 piglets with 80 sow population to assure there will be enough supply to meet the community demand. ###
Writer: Maria Elena Catajan, SAAD Regional Information Officer 1