DA: Palace declaration of state of calamity will help hog industry bounce back
MANILA, Philippines—Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Wednesday said that the declaration of the nationwide state of calamity will help local government units and the hog growing sector recover from the effects of the African Swine Fever (ASF).
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation no.1143 on Monday that put the Philippines under state of calamity due to the damaging effects of ASF, almost two years since the disease first hit the country’s hog industry.
“We consider the Presidential Proclamation No. 1143 as the much-needed ‘shot-in-the-arm’ as it will allow local government units (LGUs) to set aside part of their Local Risk Reduction and Management Fund or commonly known as calamity fund for quick response purposes, and to allocate for the prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery that may be brought by the ASF incidence in their respective areas,” said Dar in a statement.
“The Proclamation will also enable us to partner with the LGUs — from the provincial, city, municipal and barangays — and hog raisers’ groups and the private sector to craft and implement their respective ASF contingency plan, anchored on strong and sustained biosecurity, surveillance, monitoring and protection measures, covering both ASF-affected and ASF-free areas.”
The Department of Agriculture has requested the declaration of state of calamity as early as March this year and has received support from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana passing a resolution on April 10.
Proclamation no.1143 will put the country under state of calamity for one year, unless earlier lifted or extended depending on the circumstance.
Under state of calamity, LGUs will be able to use its quick response fund in the containment of ASF.
Dar said that the ASF has caused the deaths of “over three million pigs” thus greatly affecting pork supply and price.
According to Reildrin Morales, the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry Director, ASF has spread to 12 regions, 46 provinces, 502 cities and municipalities, and 2,652 since it was first reported in August 2019.
“We believe this will give swine industry stakeholders enough time to build defenses for areas that remain unaffected by what is termed as the COVID-19 of the hog sector,’” said Dar.
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