Regional Updates (10/12/20)

P154M released to Calabarzon hog raisers affected by ASF

INDEMNIFICATION for hog raisers affected by the onslaught of the African swine fever (ASF) in Calabarzon — composed of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon — has reached P153.96 million, according to the Agriculture department. In a statement on Monday, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-A office said as of October 7, around 49,393 pigs owned by 6,644 growers had been culled and paid by the government as part of the livelihood intervention and support program. The regional office also distributed broiler chickens and mushroom production packages to affected farmers in the towns of Catanauan, Candelaria, and Sariaya in Quezon under its Recovery and Rehabilitation program for ASF-affected farmers. “The goal of this program is to provide an alternative source of livelihood for ASF-affected pig growers as they recover from severe damage and losses caused by ASF,” the DA said. As of late September, the DA said the death toll from the virus has reached 316,637 pigs since its detection in August 2019. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, ASF is a hemorrhagic viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. It poses no health risk to humans. A vaccine against the disease has yet to be developed. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Boracay tourism workers to get DoT fund for COVID-19 testing


THE TOURISM department will provide P1.6 million to have Boracay workers undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing as more local tourists are anticipated to go on holiday at the popular island destination. “By supporting RT-PCR testing among workers in Boracay, the Department reiterates that safety is the unparalleled priority in reopening domestic tourism. “We want to restore confidence amongst travelers and protect their health and well-being as our tourism workers get their livelihood back,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement on Monday. Boracay was reopened to local visitors on October 1. The Department of Tourism, together with the World Health Organization and the Department of Health, also provided a P1.8 million fund to Baguio City in support of antigen testing for visitors in the mountain city. Baguio and provinces in Region 1 launched the first domestic tourism bubble also on Oct. 1. Ms. Puyat said the Tourism Promotions Board is undertaking more project for the rest of the year to assist destinations in terms of readiness with health and safety protocols. “All of these efforts by the DoT, our attached agencies, together with our partners in the public and private sector, support the President’s directive to boost the country’s domestic tourism. We are hopeful that, by reviving tourism with health and safety measures in place, the tourism industry will make it through the pandemic and be a strong catalyst for economic growth in the new normal,” Ms. Puyat said.

Davao City reimposes 7 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew until Dec. 31

DAVAO CITY Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has ordered a return of curfew hours, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., until the end of the year following a recent spike in locally-transmitted coronavirus cases and in anticipation of a potential surge due to “after-work non-essential activities” with the coming Christmas holidays. In Executive Order (EO) No. 55, issued Monday and takes effect on Oct. 15, the mayor also cited that “there is a need to control the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases in Davao City because of the full occupancy of the COVID-19 beds in the Southern Philippines Medical Center,” a government-owned facility that serves as the only COVID referral hospital in the city. Curfew exemptions cover only medical frontliners, government workers on official duty, family members attending a wake, and those on an emergency situation. During the curfew period, drinking in public spaces as well as the disruptive use of private sing-along equipment are also banned. As of Oct. 10, the city had 499 active cases out of the total 2,363.

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