Duterte OKs release of P221 million to hog raisers
Christina Mendez, The Philippine Star
November 8, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has given the go-signal for the use of the P221-million contingent fund from the Office of the President to compensate hog raisers whose pigs were culled due to African swine fever (ASF), presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
To address the ASF issue, Panelo said Duterte approved Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s request to use the remaining contingent fund of the Office of the President for the indemnification of hog raisers.
Dar said the P221 million is part of the P1-billion contingency fund from the Office of the President.
Duterte also approved the designation of cold storage areas in the ports of Manila, Subic, Batangas, Cebu and Davao for 100 percent monitoring of the entry of meat products.
Panelo said the agriculture secretary reported during the recent Cabinet meeting the efforts undertaken by the agency in addressing the ASF issue.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it had secured P1 billion from the Department of Budget and Management to compensate backyard hog raisers whose hogs died or had to be culled due to ASF.
The amount doesn’t cover commercial hog raisers. The funds would cover five percent of the total swine population, estimated at 12.8 million.
Panelo added that the President is satisfied with the way the DA is handling ASF in the country.
The DA is currently giving P5,000 to every affected hog raiser in addition to the assistance provided by local government units.
The DA has confirmed cases of ASF in Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon City, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Malabon and Caloocan City.
The DA has so far killed over 70,000 hogs since the outbreak started in August.
The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) has asked Cebu to consider “win-win” solutions in tackling ASF while working with industry players.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia had decided to extend the ban on pork products from Luzon to June 2020 in a bid to prevent the entry of ASF into the province.
“We recognize the prerogative of Governor Gwen to extend the ban to June 2020. This is based on her appreciation of the pros and cons of her choices based on the inputs of her technical and business advisory teams,” PAMPI said in a statement.
PAMPI said it would continue to advance the meat processing industry and maintain its commitment to truthfulness in its advocacy to educate consumers and stakeholders.
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