Negrenses knew what it was like to lose alternative livelihood or suffer from crippling economic crises. After all, they learned the hard lessons from the sugar crisis that hit their province in the eighties.
So when the booming livestock and poultry industry was threatened by an outbreak of diseases such as the foot-and-mouth disease, residents knew they needed to get their act together and take a proactive solution.
“Bantay Kasapatan” (Poultry and Livestock Watch) was thus born. The program has a three-pronged strategy. It aims to provide quarantine services, including disease surveillance, identification, confirmation, control and treatment of livestock diseases.
Bantay Kasapatan increased public awareness and participation in the program, through public forums and radio and TV announcements, and through an “Info Caravan”, a mobile information drive.
The program also effectively brought the veterinary office closer to the people. The local government obtained the services of 746 so-called “paravets” or “paraveterinarians” who make frequent visits to livestock and keep their health in check.
The program was also designed to regulate commercial farm establishments, the safe and entry of poultry and livestock products and by-products.
Despite the outbreak of FMD in 1998 in the province of Iloilo, which resulted in trade restrictions for Region 4, Negors Occidental was able to maintain its “FMD-free” status and lifted trade restrictions as well.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 2002 Galing Pook Awards.