Duterte orders gov't agencies, LGUs to comply with ASF zoning plan

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2020 05:40 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2020 02:40 PM

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MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government agencies and local government units to comply with the national zoning plan for African swine fever, which aims to control the spread of the fatal hog disease.

Duterte, in Administrative Order No. 22, emphasized the need to comply with the zoning plan included in the Department of Agriculture's Administrative Circular No. 12 to control the spread of the hog disease. 

"There is an urgent need to ensure consistent implementation and compliance with DA Administrative Circular No. 12 to more effectively control the ASF virus towards its complete eradication," the President said in the order signed on Feb. 5 but made public only on Friday.

The DA issued the zoning plan in December 2019 as one of the key measures to eradicate ASF, which struck hog farms mostly in Luzon.

Under the agriculture department's circular, zones will be established across the country to protect areas unaffected by the hog disease and limit the spread in those with confirmed ASF cases.

To ensure compliance, Duterte ordered the DA, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to monitor adherence to the zoning plan.

The Philippines confirmed its first case of ASF in September 2019, prompting a ban on meat products from countries where the hog disease was first reported. 

The outbreak was first confirmed in hog farms in Luzon, where thousands of pigs have been culled to contain the disease. 

In November, the agriculture department said the local outbreak was caused by smuggled pork products from China. 

Recently, the hog disease was confirmed to have reached Mindanao.