The government-run dairy farm will temporarily postpone its reopening to the public this month after the strict quarantine control being implemented in Barangay Sta. Monica due to the increasing cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Officer-in-charge and senior science specialist Ariel Colongon said Monday that they might reopen the dairy farm in Brgy. Irawan, depending on the situation of cases in the city.
The dairy farm or the Dairy Production and Development Center (DPDC) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) MIMAROPA which is under the supervision of the National Dairy Authority (NDA), an attached agency of DA, has temporarily closed since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine on March 15.
“Di ba nagkaroon tayo ng update related to COVID, nagkaroon ng mga area na na-contaminate and others. Sinabayan na lang namin muna just to make sure na ma-contain natin ang COVID,” he said.
“Nag-lockdown ibang areas natin sa Puerto, para maka-avoid ng kung sakaling infections, ni-lockdown muna namin ang dairy farm, hindi mo na namin in-open muna until such time na siguro mag-calm down yong issue ng COVID sa Sta. Monica after 14 days siguro,” he added.
Colongon said that they will still observe the situation and will based to the guidelines released by the local Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Even the dairy production has temporarily stopped due to quarantine controls, he said that they are still compliant with the minimum health standards in managing the farm.
“In fact meron kami taga-Sta. Monica na ni-refrain na muna namin pumasok para sigurado rin for both party. Nasa labas naman siya (sa area of containment ), para rin ‘yon sa kanyang kapakanan at sa amin din dito na kanyang kasamahan,” he said.
Colongon said that they will maintain the volume of milk to produce once the dairy production resumes.
The dairy farm has a current number of 10 cows which produce five to six liters of milk per head each day. Each three liters of milk per head will be used to produce dairy products such as fresh milks, chocolate milks and icecream.
“May tendency lang ‘yan na umakyat ng kaunti o bumaba ng kaunti kasi kapag meron manganak na additional. Nasa between five to six liters lang kami per head per day then babawasan pa natin ng two to 2.5 liters para sa anak,” he said.
“Para sa aming mga masugid na client na bumibili ng aming product, pasensya muna kayo, kailangan na mag-stay at home muna to prevent the possibility of infection dahil sa COVID,” he said.
Colongon said that they cannot also push through the milk feeding program to preschool children during the nutrition month of July due to threat of pandemic.
The dairy farm has been supporting the children ages two to five years old in barangay Irawan with cattle milk to combat malnutrition.
“Kasi kung mag-milk feeding program tayo, hindi maiiwasan na kasama ang mother dyan kasi minsan ang mga bata, hindi agad yan susunod, ang social distancing ay kung minsan makakalimutan. I-refrain na lang muna namin, kapag na-settle down, everything is under control and fine, saka na lang namin itutuloy,” he said.