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Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Former Bohol Governor Slams Current Aministration for ASF Mishandling

Former Bohol Governor Art Yap has issued a scathing statement on the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in Bohol, accusing the current administration of criminal negligence and neglect of duty. 

Yap, who served as governor from 2019 to 2022, said that the current governor, Erico Aristotle Aumentado, has failed to take the necessary steps to contain the spread of the virus and to protect the P6-billion industry and the livelihoods of hog farmers.

Yap, who is a former Agriculture Secretary in the country, said that a governor should do three things with ASF outbreak in Bohol: 1) convene the mayors and the Philippine National Police (PNP) because they need to monitor the movement of hogs and carcasses to prevent infections spreading; 2) preside over culling; and 3) most importantly provide some form of compensation to farmers to depopulate because the longer they delay the greater the risk of widespread infection outbreak that will decimate the entire bohol population.

“I don’t see this happening now. There must be an investigation in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) launched: 1) who knew what? 2) when was it known? 3) what action was taken? The way I see it this can be used as a model to demonstrate that there is actually no government in Bohol today,” he said.

“The effort to obfuscate facts is criminal. Hiding the truth in these circumstances is criminal. Then this is aggravated by the sheer negligence of doing nothing. That is more criminal,” Yap said in his statement.

Yap also expressed his frustration over the lack of action and knowledge from the provincial officials. 

“What enrages me is the fact that nobody knows what to do and everything is business as usual. Neglect of duty means a failure to perform a duty or responsibility required of a position,” Yap said.

“The question must be asked: who knew what? When? And what was done about it? Because unless we know how can we prevent this from happening again. Also what are we doing to contain it now? There are big hog populations in Carmen, Sierra Bullones and all over central Bohol,” he said.

Yap also claimed that he was quiet when the current administration bought vehicles or stopped his programs, saying that it was okay for them to do what they think is right. 

“But this is downright criminal negligence when you cause disease to enter Bohol and do nothing about it,” he added.

According to news reports, Cebu province has implemented a 60-day ban on the entry of live hogs, pork, and pork-related products from Bohol after ASF was detected in Pilar town. 

Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, Bohol provincial veterinarian, confirmed that some 80 hogs, including piglets, in Purok 6, Barangay San Vicente, Pilar tested positive for ASF. 

She said that the infected pigs were within the 100-meter radius index premise and that hogs within the quarantine area from 500-radius to one-kilometer radius tested negative of ASF which means the virus has yet to spread. 

She also said that the province has intensified its disease monitoring and surveillance to prevent ASF from spreading to other areas.

However, Governor Aumentado said that the ASF in Bohol has already been contained and that they have implemented several strict biosecurity measures. 

He also said that they have coordinated with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other agencies for assistance.

Yap’s statement has sparked mixed reactions from netizens, with some supporting his call for accountability and others defending the current administration’s efforts.

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