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Philippines declares state of calamity over African swine fever

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has declared a one-year nationwide state of calamity due to an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), which has resulted in more than two billion dollars in industry losses.

This was announced by the government on Tuesday.

In a proclamation signed on Monday, Duterte said that ASF had spread to more than half of the Philippines.

He said that it had caused a “significant reduction in the country’s swine population by around three million hogs” and an increase in retail prices of pork products.

The proclamation noted that the outbreak had resulted in losses of more than 100 billion pesos (2.08 billion dollars) in the local hog sector and related industries.

“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.

Duterte directed all government agencies and local government units to mobilise resources to undertake measures that would contain the spread of ASF, address the supply deficit in pork products and reduce retail prices.

The state of calamity declaration would allow the national government and local governments to tap funds for the response to the outbreak.

Since the first case was reported in 2019, ASF has been detected in 46 of the 81 provinces in the Philippines, and new cases were still being reported in spite of the government’s interventions. (Dpa/NAN)

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