Cases of African swine fever going down says Agri chief

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2021 09:52 PM

MANILA - Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the number of positive samples of African swine fever (ASF) in the Philippines has dropped significantly.

During a briefing by economic managers on Monday, Dar said the number of positive ASF samples they have monitored has dropped to 98 in April from 286 in March and 337 in February. 

This was in contrast to the 1,773 positive samples monitored in August and 1,556 samples in September.

The ASF outbreak is blamed for runaway meat inflation in the Philippines, leading to overall inflation overshooting the government’s preferred target range of 2 to 4 percent in January, February and March. 

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a price cap on fresh pork, and later issued Executive Order 128 to lower tariffs on frozen pork imports, and allow more of the commodity to enter the Philippines to address surging pork prices.

The price cap however failed to stop meat inflation from accelerating. 

The EO on imports is also being debated for a possible veto by lawmakers, some of whom believe government should instead spend more on supporting the local hog raising industry.

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