Agriculture department allots P78 million to control African swine fever

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be spending P78 million in emergency funds to manage, control, and contain the threat of African swine fever (ASF).

An ASF task force was also created to prevent the spread of the disease. The task force is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, with Agriculture Secretary William Dar as vice chairman and the DA as the lead agency. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)

Other members include Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Ricardo Jalad.

After receiving test results from the World Organization for Animal Health confirming that ASF has entered the country, all DA regional directors in Luzon were oriented and were provided with guidelines on how to manage, contain, and control the disease.

The DA is set to meet with concerned governors and their respective veterinary officers to align local governments' issuances and corresponding actions to manage ASF.

The DA is expected to present a geographic zoning plan to adjust government response to the developing situation on the ground and effectively prevent the further spread of ASF to other parts of the country.

So far, several areas in Rizal and Bulacan have confirmed cases of ASF. Possible cases in Metro Manila are still being verified. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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