By Jasper Bartolome and Mizpah Grace Castro
In a precautionary bid to minimize losses in the livestock sector during Typhoon “Ompong” (International Name: Mangkhut), Governor Imee R. Marcos had initiated the construction of animal shelters in low-lying and flood-prone areas in Ilocos Norte.
From September 13 to 14, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) through the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVet) provided canvas cloths (tolda), water, and more or less 400 bags of starter and grower feeds, which barangay residents and officials used to set up the shelters and sustain the animals.
Provision of such was also aimed at convincing residents to evacuate their homes, as Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela pointed out their hesitance to leave their homes and their livestock, a source of livelihood.
“Kaya ayaw nilang mag-evacuate dahil nandoon yung livelihood nila sa residence nila, sa vulnerable areas. Kaya ito ang naisip ng PGIN, particularly with the pronouncement of the Governor na, ‘Magbigay tayo ng pakain, baka sakaling mahatak yung mga tao to bring their animals to the animal shelter as they also bring themselves to the evacuation centers.’”
The governor had said, “Yung ibang farmers, gustong magpaiwan sa bahay dahil binabantayan ang mga alagang baka o baboy. Sana ipagkatiwala na lang sa PVet na kaya natin itong bantayan para maiwasan na may masawi sa pag-rescue.” – (Jasper Bartolome and Mizpah Grace Castro, PGIN-CMO)