MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a nationwide state of calamity due to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak that has significantly reduced the country’s local supply of pork and spiked its prices according to a document released by Malacañang on Tuesday.
Under Proclamation No. 1143 signed by Duterte on May 10, the state of calamity will last for a period of one year beginning this date “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”
“The ASF is responsible for the significant reduction in the country’s swine population by around three million hogs, resulting in more than P100 billion n losses to the local hog sector and allied industries, and leading to the increased retail prices of pork products,” the proclamation read.
“There is an urgent need to address the continued spread of ASF and its adverse impacts to jumpstart the rehabilitation of the local hog industry, and to ensure the availability, adequacy and affordability of pork products, all for the purpose of attaining food security,” it added.
The president signed the proclamation upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council over the outbreak.
The disease has spread to 12 regions, 46 provinces, 493 cities and municipalities, and 2,671 barangays in the country, the proclamation stated, with new cases continuously being reported despite government interventions.
Duterte said that such declaration will, among others, “afford the national government, and local government units (LGU), ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their response efforts to contain the continuing spread of the ASF and restore normalcy in ASF-affected areas.”
Under the proclamation, all government agencies and LGUs are enjoined to render full assistance to and cooperation with each other, and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake “critical, urgent, and appropriate measures in a timely manner” to curtail the further spread of ASF.
Concerned agencies must also address the supply deficit in pork products, reduce retail prices, and jumpstart the rehabilitation of the local hog industry.
Law enforcement agencies, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are also directed to “undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas, as may be necessary.”