MANILA - The Department of Agriculture has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a state of emergency to prevent the further spread of African swine fever in the country.
Once a state of emergency is declared, local government units are required to earmark funds to address the threat of the disease, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes told Teleradyo.
It would also mandate concerned government agencies to address the problem, he added. The disease is harmless to humans but is deadly to pigs and there is no vaccine or cure.
In a memorandum signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar and submitted to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the agency on Wednesday drafted a proclamation to declare a state of emergency due to ASF.
Dar said the disease had spread to 12 regions, 40 provinces, 466 cities and municipalities and 2,425 barangays.
"Over 3 million heads of pig have been lost due to the disease, causing contraction in pork supply and an unprecedented increase in the price of basic agricultural commodities," he said.
The call came after a Senate panel recommended the declaration of state of emergency in the country due to the continuing threat of ASF.
The DA has extended the implementation of price cap for pork and chicken until April 8 as the government continues to ease inflation.
Duterte earlier issued an executive order imposing price cap on pork and chicken products in Metro Manila following public lament on the rising cost of these food items.
Under the EO, the price cap for kasim and pigue was set at P270 per kilo, P300 for liempo, and P160 for dressed chicken per kilo.
To augment domestic supply, Reyes said the agency also proposed increasing volume of pork imports to 400,000 metric tons.