President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared through a proclamation a state of calamity throughout the country for one year due to African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.
The President’s Proclamation No. 1143 mandates all government agencies to cooperate with each other and to mobilize the necessary resources to curtail the spread of ASF as well as to address the supply deficit of pork products, reduce retail prices, and jumpstart the rehabilitation of the local hog industry.
It also directed all law enforcement agencies, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to carry out measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas.
ASF was first reported in the Philippines in 2019 and has so far spread to 12 regions, 46 provinces, and 493 cities in the country. New cases are still being reported despite the government’s interventions.
The contagion has significantly reduced the country’s swine population by around three million hogs and resulted in P100 billion losses to the local hog sector and allied industries, leading to increased retail prices pork products.
The continuing spread of ASF compelled the government to address its adverse impacts, kickstart the rehabilitation of the hog industry and ensure the availability and affordability of pork products in the country.
With President Duterte’s declaration, the national government and local government units (LGUs) will have more leeway in utilizing appropriate funds, including Quick Response Fund (QRF) in their ASF response initiatives.
President Duterte also issued Executive Order 133, which increases the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) for pork meat under the Agricultural Tariffication Act.
Under the President’s order, last year’s MAV of 54,210 metric tons of pork meat will be increased to 254,210 MT provided that any unavailable balance last year is not carried over this year.
EO 133 mandates the MAV Management Committee to ensure fair volume allocation to all importers of pork meat in accordance with the existing rules and regulations and agricultural MAV guideline.
The spread of ASF in 12 regions of the country led to reduction in the local swine inventory of three million heads. The Department of Agriculture (DA) estimates that the country’s pork shortage this year could be around 388,790 MT. PND