‘Antidote VS ASF – Igorot Culture’

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La Trinidad, Benguet (February 10, 2020) – Indigenous Igorot culture can do the magic against the African swine fever spread.

Town officials here are confident ASF will not spread in Benguet because of the “inayan” trait wielded by Igorots.

“Inayan” sometimes called “Paniyew” is a trait of Igorots or the indigenous people of the Cordillera Region where they consider the welfare of their neighbors or other people.   The Igorots practice precautionary or preventive measures to ensure their fellow people will not be harmed when they do something.

“Inayan” is a trait where one considers possible negative effects of an action they are planning to do where mostly they will not continue such because of it.

Benguet Provincial veterinarian Felicidad Ticbaen said that when they conducted culling operations within the one kilometer where there are pigs suspected of inspection, they have to deal with the heavy emotions coming from the hog raisers because pig raising is a livelihood for almost all of them.

She said it is very painful for their part convincing the hog raisers of Barangay Beckel, La Trinidad especially in the area which was identified as ground zero for positive ASF infection basing from a conducted rapid test.

She said they are very grateful that after information and education efforts and other ways of explanations and convincing, the hog owners volunteered that their pigs be cullled or de-populated.

According to Dr.  Ticbaen, because “Inayan” is still strong among the residents of the area being indigenous people, the municipal government including the office of the Provincial Veterinarian did not find a hard time in convincing the people to give up their pigs.

La Trinidad Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Arthur Pedro said that the residents of the ground zero thought it is very much inconsiderate on their part if they will not heed to the protocol where there is a positive ASF infection in the area and agreed to have their pigs de-populated.   He said that other people should do the same and also be vigilant enough and give their contribution to the community efforts in preventing the widespread contamination in the whole province.

Benguet has imposed a lockdown on live pigs in lieu of confirmed ASF cases in the province.

By: Artemio Dumlao