To avoid the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Philippines, the hog raisers met with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on September 3, 2018 at Apacible Conference Room in Quezon City, to recommend ways to ensure the disease will not reach the country.
According to the report from the World Organization for Animal Health, it was confirmed that there are ASF outbreaks in China and Europe. The ASF outbreak may spread to the Asian countries anytime.
Sec. Piñol issued a Memorandum Order No. 23 Series of 2018, imposing the “temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild pigs and their products including pork meat and semen originating from Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and China” to protect and ensure the health status of swine in the country.
He also issued Memorandum Order No. 22 that prohibits the use of catering food wastes/left-overs from international and domestic airports and seaports as swine swill feed throughout the country.
To support the hog industry to produce more, hog raisers proposed proactive measures from the government that will sustain the production of pork.
Dr. Arnulfo Frontuna of the Swine Industry Foundation (SIF) suggested that DA should conduct a survey on the rampant occurrence of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) in piggery farms as it is one of the reasons why the production of swine in the Philippines is diminishing.
Frontuna also recommend to lower the tariff on yellow corn. Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Segfredo Serrano, responded that lowering five percent tariff for yellow corn might have compensatory effects on the farmers.
Usec. Serrano added that if modifications are made in the tariff of yellow corn, this will pass through a tedious process of review by the Committee on Tariff and Related Matters and needs approval of the President.
Sec. Piñol further proposed to the group to use sorghum as substitutes for yellow corn in feed and encouraged producers and farmers to plant sorghums in their areas of jurisdiction.
Assistant Secretary for Livestock, Dr. Enrico Garzon, Jr., informed the group that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has a feed mill program amounting to PhP50M that is good for six facilities.
Sec. Piñol assured that DA will mobilize its people to monitor all hog raising farms all over the country, to ensure that the government can easily address whatever animal health issues that will occur. – LC