Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command offers existing security checkpoints to expand into quarantine checkpoints, as part of the measure of preventing the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Eastern Mindanao.

The offer came after Regional Director (RD) Engineer Ricardo Oñate of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region XI, together with the members of the Surveillance Team from Meat Inspection Service (MIS), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and some Hog Raisers in Davao Region visited the Headquarters Eastern Mindanao Command, Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City on September 23, 2019.

Their visit aims to seek the assistance of the military in the biological battle of preventing zoonotic and infectious diseases to enter the region, which might affect the animal industry and the economy as a whole.

“Our fixed security checkpoints can be used as a point of convergence in carrying out the best interest of the government and of the communities, hence, can accommodate other capabilities and be expanded or converted to a “whole of government” platform like that of quarantine checkpoint,” Lt. Gen. Santos said.

As of this date, the checkpoints of Task Force Davao under Col. Consolito Yecla have already been expanded into quarantine checkpoints after the City Government of Davao, through the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) deployed quarantine personnel.

They will be assisted by the 65 personnel of Task Force Davao who were also oriented on animal and meat quarantine.

Lt. Gen. Santos, likewise, recommended that the issue be leveled to different levels of Peace and Order Councils (POCs) to encourage the participation of different Law Enforcement Agencies and the crafting of local and regional plans, to include biosecurity protocols.

“Taking off from the initiative of Davao City and Task Force Davao checkpoints as a template, we are asking the concerned agencies to level the issue to the different POCs to consolidate and synchronized effort in this biological battle,” he added.

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