Philippines declares state of calamity over African swine fever


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the country under a state of calamity for a year to address the impact from the outbreak of African swine fever, his spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

“The country will be under a state of calamity for a year unless lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant,” Roque told a televised press conference.

The proclamation signed by Duterte demanded all government agencies and local government units mobilize the necessary resources to “curtail the further spread of African swine fever, address the supply deficit in pork products, reduce retail prices, and jump-start the rehabilitation of the local hog industry”, reports Xinhua news agency.

African swine fever continues to ravage the hog industry in the Philippines since its outbreak in 2019.

“New cases continuously being reported despite the government interventions,” the proclamation said.

Since the first case reported in 2019, the Philippine government said, African swine fever has spread to 12 out of the country’s 17 regions.

According to the Philippine government, African swine fever has “significantly reduced” the country’s swine population by around 3 million hogs, resulting in more than 100 billion pesos in losses.

“There is an urgent need to address the continued spread of African swine fever, and its adverse impacts on the local hog industry (and) ensure food security,” the proclamation noted.

The situation has led to increased retail prices of pork products in the country, prompting the government to increase pork imports this year.