By Dominic B. dela Cruz (Staff Reporter)

PIDDIG, Ilocos Norte—”What we did was like hitting two birds with one stone”, Piddig Mayor Eduardo “Eddie” G. Guillen said in their effort to help his constituents as the pandemic rages and to help local hog raisers as the African swine fever now also threatens the province.

Ta ngamin ginatang mi dagitay baboy dagiti kailian min ta awan met aggatangen tapnu matulungan mi isuda a mai-dispose and at the same time matulungan mi pay dagiti kakailian mi ta maparti dagitoy ket maibunong para kadagiti amin nga households ti ili a Piddig,” Guillen explained.

The mayor also disclosed that he is monitoring with the Provincial Veterinary Office on the ASF situation in his town and their neighboring areas.

He added that since Piddig is ASF-free, he decided to help local hog raisers here by buying their hogs and adding them to relief packs, which they also distributed to local residents.

Aside from the pork meat, each household will also receive 1 kilo of rice, and their respective barangays will provide additional rice and grocery items.

The Ilocos Times learned that the hogs cost the municipal government PHP900,000, which they sourced from the calamity fund.

Guillen stressed that the Commission on Audit (COA) has allowed the said purchase.

Tapnu saan kamin to mabigbigla iti kaadda ti ASF kada bird flu, the municipal government of Piddig now focuses on livestock for cow/cattle production,” Guillen also revealed.

For this year, the municipal government distributed 20 cows and 77 carabaos to farmers.

The mayor also stated that they will also artificially inseminate local farmers’ cows here with “Wagyu”, a Japanese cattle breed.

Guillen stated that they will produce an estimated 2,000 Wagyu cows annually. Wagyu cows cost from PHP30,000 to PHP50,000.

The project, the mayor further expounded, is a convergence project between the Piddig government, the Dept. of Agriculture, the Animal Bureau Industry and the Dept. of the Environment and Natural Resources.