MANILA (UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte will issue an executive order to “hasten” the movement of pigs and pork products in the Philippines as the government tries to curb the spread of African swine fever, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Wednesday.
Issuing the order was among the “win-win” arrangements discussed during a Palace meeting about the fatal hog disease, Dar told ABS-CBN News.
“An EO will be issued by [President Duterte] to hasten the movement flow of pigs, pork and pork products,” Dar said.
Duterte on Tuesday met with Dar, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and local government officials at Malacañang to discuss the matter.
Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, the President said he tasked Dar to come up with a “protocol” on how to transport pigs and pork products in a way that the spread of the disease is controlled.
“I asked the secretary of agriculture to come up with a protocol how to control [ASF],” he said.
Earlier this month, Duterte ordered all government agencies and local government units to comply with the national zoning plan for ASF, which aims to curb the spread of the disease.
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.
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.