Number of barangays with ASF drops to 43

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021   •   200

MANILA, Philippines—  The number of barangays affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) since August 2019 has dropped significantly.

From over 2,500 barangays, only 43 have active cases of ASF according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

However, BAI Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Dr. Reildrin Morales said, the fight against the viral disease is far from over and could take years before it can be completely eradicated from the country.

“Lahat may risk kaya we mitigate the risk. Spain took 30 years. We want to learn from their lessons. Hopefully mas maikli tayo lalo na if hindi magbebenta mga farms na may tama,” Morales said.

He added that ASF may also spread through transport of pigs and pork products, but he assured that measures are in place to prevent transmission.

“May integrity ang accreditation system natin sa importation, pre-border, border and second border natin,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (ProPork) president, Nick Briones lamented that hog raisers do not report ASF cases.

“Sigurado di matitigil ang ASF dahil walang nagdedeclare na hog raisers kung may tama ng ASF,” he said.

To address issues on pork supply, the Department of Agriculture has rolled out its swine repopulation program, focusing on areas previously affected by the ASF outbreak. AAC ( with reports from Rey Pelayo)

 

 

Agriculture groups to boycott DA’s food security summit

Marje Pelayo   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  A number of agricultural groups are planning to boycott the upcoming food security summit to be conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) on May 18 and 19.

The groups said their concerns and recommendations have been repeatedly ignored that is why they decided not to attend the summit.

Among the policies they are opposed to is the importation of rice, chicken and more importantly pork with lower tariff.

“Ipipilit (lang) iyong ideology ng import liberalization. So bakit kami pupunta?” stressed United Broilers and Raisers Association (UBRA) president Atty. Bong Inciong.

The Samahan ng Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG) also noted that their recommendation to have first border protection for testing of imported agricultural food products has yet to be established.

This, they say, is one way to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

“Kaya bakit natin ibo-boycott itong food summit? Dahil nakikita natin eh walang direksyon para sa ating local producers,” noted Rosendo So, president of SINAG.

Hog raisers are also complaining about the unpaid indemnification of hogs affected by the ASF.

The group warned that this could result in another holiday.

“Ipinakikita natin sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon na tayo ay sawang-sawa na at malapit nang dumating sa tingin ko yung food holiday,” argued Nicanor Briones of ProPork.

Amid these complaints, Agriculture Secretary William Dar is encouraging them to participate in the summit so that they can properly air their side.

Dar noted the importance of everyone’s participation especially in a time of pandemic.

“There is now consciousness on the part of every Filipino na ang sektor ng agrikultura ay ganoon kahalaga during this time of health pandemic,” he said.

The Food Security Summit aims to construct policies that will help the country attain food sufficiency. (With reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte raises volume of pork imports to 254,210 metric tons

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an increase in the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork imports to help ensure affordable food and augment the shortage in local supply due to African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

Under Executive Order No. 133, which was signed on May 10 but only made public on Tuesday, Duterte raised the MAV for pork meat this year to 254,210 metric tons (MT), from the current 54,210 MT, “provided that the balance at the end of 2021 shall not be carried over to 2022.”

The minimum access volume approved is lower than the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) initial proposal of 404,210 MT following concerns raised by some senators.

Duterte said the ASF outbreak spread to over 12 regions, including 38 provinces and 437 municipalities, and led to the significant reduction of the country’s swine inventory by 3 million heads or 24.1 percent from 2020 to 2021.

The shortage of pork in the country is estimated to be around 388,790 MT based on data from the DA’s National Livestock Program for the year 2021.

“It is imperative to immediately address the current supply gap in pork meat, to provide consumers with adequate and affordable food, and to lower inflation,” the order read.

In the same order, the president directed the MAV Management Committee to ensure that the allocation of the volume importation would be “fair and open” to all qualified importers of pork meat.

The importation must also be carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations for the implementation of the agricultural MAVs, and other pertinent laws.

The order was issued shortly after Duterte declared a nationwide state of calamity due to the ASF outbreak.

Duterte earlier issued an order lowering pork import tariff rates, which was opposed by some senators.

Duterte declares state of calamity due to ASF outbreak

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

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.”

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