MANILA — The inter-agency task force leading the country's pandemic response has recommended the "unhampered passage" of hogs, a shortage of which has pushed up pork prices in Luzon, Malacañang said on Friday.
The IATF, which met on Thursday, approved the recommendation of the task force on food security for "the unhampered passage of hog shipment from Visayas and Mindanao, while preventing the spread of the African Swine Fever and observing all science-based precautionary and quarantine measures," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
ASF, which is fatal to pigs but not humans, has forced authorities to cull thousands of pigs in Luzon. In some Metro Manila markets, pork could fetch as high as P380 to 400 per kilo, above the suggested retail price of P225 a kilo.
The IATF "supported the proposal of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to designate the nautical highway from Luzon and Mindanao, and the Maharlika Highway in Luzon as Special Hog Lanes," Roque said in a statement.
The task force directed the agriculture, interior and trade departments "to jointly implement the said resolution," he said.
A price cap that will curb the runaway cost of chicken and pork is "forthcoming," Roque said on Thursday.