PH swine population remains stable amid new ASF outbreak

QUEZON CITY, Feb. 11 -- Despite the recent outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Davao Occidental, Agriculture Secretary William Dar assures the public that the country has enough supply of pork and pork products.

Based on the latest report, only 1.7 percent of the 12.7 million national swine population has been depopulated.

“From the 216,000 depopulated swine, only about 13 percent is sick, but because of the 1-7-10 protocol, we have to depopulate every hog within the one-kilometer radius,” Dar explained.

According to the Secretary, swill feeding primarily caused the outbreak. However, its origin is still being traced. Identified possible sources of the ASF include food wastes from ports or smuggled pork products.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is working closely with the local chief executives (LCEs) in the ASF-affected areas.

On the afternoon of February 10, President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with LCEs to discuss how they would address national concerns such as the new coronavirus and ASF.

Dar urges everyone to work together in helping the affected local government units to properly manage, control, and contain for the said problems.

Regarding the reported inflation rate of 2.9 percent in January 2020, Dar requested the DA family to help tame food inflation, which was said to be 1 percent of the total inflation.

“We will help in terms of making supply more available, by bringing the produce from the countryside to the metropolitan areas like Metro Manila, and lower the retail prices of food commodities,” Dar said. (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)