Agriculture Secretary William Dar recently signed Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Order No. 558 that creates a joint committee that will harmonize swine industry-related data that could be used by policymakers and  industry players, as well as the public as references for important decisions in managing emerging animal diseases especially during outbreaks.

“The creation of the joint committee is a result of a collaborative effort between our private sector stakeholders and DA officials. I am optimistic that by working together to supply updated data, it will transform into responsive policies and decisions that will help the swine industry,” said Sec. Dar.

Private sector stakeholders recommended to determine the official data on current sow levels in the country and production losses due to the African Swine Fever in the previous online consultations at the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) together with DA industry concerned offices.

It was even raised that there are significant discrepancies between the data provided by the government and those from the private sectors.

In a meeting on July 14, hog sector stakeholders with representatives from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), DA National Banner Program (DA NLP), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), National Meat Inspection Service, and PCAF, the private stakeholders noticed the inconsistencies in the data published in PSA’s Quarterly Situationer Report with BAI’s data.

To address the conflicting data from both sectors, the DA and swine industry participants agreed to create a joint committee to reconcile the local hog data.

The Committee will be composed of representatives from both government and the private sectors, chaired by DA Assistant Secretary William Medrano of the DA NLP, co-chaired by Edwin Chen of Pork-Producers Federation of the Philippines (ProPork) and Chester Warren Tan of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., while DA-BAI Director Ronnie Domingo will be the Vice Chairperson.

The members of the Joint Committee shall supply the data on the swine industry and submit it to the Secretary. The DA Regional Field Offices will also assist the Committee in gathering data to make it more substantial.

Members include Dr. Rosette Arca of San Miguel Foods, Inc., Dr. Jesus Edullantes, representative of the Provincial, City and Municipal Veterinarian League of the Philippines, Dr. Zoilo Lapus of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners, Dr. Angel Manabat of Pig Improvement Company Philippines, Eugene Mende of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Ruth Miclat-Sonaco of DA-ATI International Training Center on Pig Husbandry, Dr. Corazon Occidental of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association, Dante Palabrica of Robina Farms, Dr. Romulo Parayao of Accredited Swine Breeders Association of the Philippines, Engr. Rosendo So of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), Dir. Reildrin Morales of DA NMIS, and Acting Executive Director Liza Battad of DA-PCAF.

“As the world’s 10th largest pork consumer, it is very crucial that we have a harmonized data and capacity to analyze information that would create additional linkages for effective decision-making. I am glad that we have the help of our private sector stakeholders to help the Department with this,” said PCAF Acting Exec. Dir. Liza Battad.

PCAF is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture which facilitates broad-based participatory mechanism and process in the agriculture and fisheries sector.  ###JC