New ASF outbreaks reported in 6 Luzon provinces, DA says

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2020   •   1098

MANILA, Philippines – New outbreaks of the African Swine Fever (ASF) have been monitored in six provinces in Luzon, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Thursday.

During a Laging Handa briefing, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the incidents of ASF outbreaks were reported in the provinces of Albay, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Quirino.

The new outbreaks bring the total number of affected regions to nine, he added.

Dar assured that the culling operations for ASF-affected hogs have been implemented to ensure that no contaminated pork products will be sold in local markets.

“Mayroon po tayong ugnayan sa mga LGU sila na yung nakabantay doo sa mga areas na may declared ASF cases,may quarantine na yan hindi na makakalabas at kung ano yung kinakailangan na idepopulate,” he said.

“Lahat ng pupunta sa merkado, dapat dadaan sa slaughter houses at doon sa slaughter houses ay naka-bantay ang ating kawani ng National Meat Inspection Service at sila ang magbibigay ng certification na ito ay walang sakit at safe kainin ang karne,” he added.

The Agriculture chief also said that the government is providing hog raisers P5,000 indemnification per pig surrendered for culling.

Experts have said that the ASF virus is not harmful to humans. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Phl hog industry needs P27-B to recover from impact of ASF — DA

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking for fund sources to address the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the country’s hog industry.

Specifically, the DA needs up to P27 billion for its hog recovery program, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

This year alone, the DA requires an additional P6.6 billion for the repopulation of hogs.

Since the ASF outbreak began in 2019, the country has already lost over three million heads of pigs, Dar noted.

The DA is expecting an amount from the Bayanihan 3 but since the government has declared a state of calamity due to ASF, the agency is expecting an additional source of funds for the program.

“Kung may resource kami na pwede naming i-realign ito po ay pwede nang gagawin dito po sa under the state of calamity,” Dar noted.

Secretary Dar said it would take about three years before the country achieves the average number of hogs as before and it will need an overall budget of P27 billion.

Also part of the hog recovery program is funding ASF test kits and the procurement of a potential vaccine against ASF that is currently under clinical trial. MNP (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.

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