MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a nationwide state of calamity over the African swine fever that has slashed the local supply of pork and pushed up its prices, based on a document that Malacañang released on Tuesday.
ASF, which is fatal to hogs but not to humans, has spread to 493 cities and municipalities in 12 regions, Duterte said in Proclamation No. 1143. New cases are "continuously being reported despite government interventions," he added.
The President said the national disaster council urged him to declare a state of calamity over the outbreak. This would allow local governments to tap their quick response fund to contain ASF, he said.
"There is hereby declared a State of Calamity throughout the Philippines on account of the ASF outbreak, for a period of one year beginning this date, unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant," reads Duterte's proclamation, which he signed on Monday.
He directed all local governments and agencies to "render full assistance and cooperation with each other" to curb the spread of ASF and bring down retail prices.
Video courtesy of PTV
Duterte, in a separate order, approved more pork imports to boost pork supply.
Pork accounts for 60 percent of meat consumption in the Philippines, where the swine industry is valued at P260 billion, the agriculture department had said.