THE PHILIPPINES recorded 173 new outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF), according to a report issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
In its 13th follow-up report to the World Organisation for Animal Health, the BAI announced that an additional 84,060 hogs were culled as a result of the new outbreaks.
The largest culls were conducted in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur at 5,352 hogs, followed by Cauayan, Isabela with 4,379, and Cabatuan, Isabela at 3,925.
On the other end of the scale, smaller culls were also recorded in Piat, Cagayan and Ambaguio, Nueva Vizcaya with two each, followed by Solano, Nueva Vizcaya and Magallanes, Cavite with four each.
Areas affected in Isabela include Quezon, Mallig, Roxas, Echague, Quirino, Luna, Aurora, Alicia, Ramon, Reina Mercedes, San Manuel, San Mateo, Angadanan, Cordon, San Isidro, Cabagan, Albano, San Guillermo, Naguillian, San Agustin, Gamu, Jones, San Mariano, Benito Soliven, Burgos, Tumauini, and Ilagan City.
Parts of Pangasinan that also recorded ASF outbreaks were Mangaldan, Lingayen, Anda, Bolinao, Alaminos, Agno, Bani, San Carlos City, Mapandan, Sual, Infanta, Laoac, Burgos, Dasol, Tayug, Mabini, Natividad, Pozorrubio, and Umingan.
Quezon province towns where the disease was detected include Macalelon, Sariaya, Mauban, Lucena City, San Antonio, Tiaong, Atimonan, General Luna, Candelaria, Catanauan, Gumaca, Unisan, Pagbilao, Pitogo, Sampaloc, Calauag, and Lucban.
Other areas that with ASF outbreaks are Santo Tomas, Lipa City, San Juan, Tanauan, Laurel, Talisay, Cuenca, San Jose, Taal, Nasugbu, Alitagtag, Taysan, Malvar, and Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas; Balbalan, Pinukpuk, Rizal, and Tabuk City, Kalinga; Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija; and Tanay, Baras, Morong, and Pililia, Rizal.
Pangil, Sta. Cruz, Mabitac, Los Baños, Alaminos, Kalayaan, Sinilaon, and Santa Maria, Laguna; Itogon and La Trinidad, Benguet; Bauang, Balaoan, Naguilian, Burgos, Luna, and Bacnotan, La Union; Casiguran, Aurora; General Emilio Aguinaldo, Alfonso, Carmona, Dasmariñas, Mendez, and Maragondon, Cavite.
In the Bicol Region, ASF was also detected in Bula, Baao, Pili, Naga City, Minalabac, Pamplona, San Fernando, Ocampo, Calabanga, Nabua, Sipocot, Iriga City, and Libmanan, Camarines Sur; Pio Duran, Polangui, Ligao City, and Oas, Albay; San Vicente, Daet, Mercedes, Vinzons, Talisay, and Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte; and Castilla, Sorsogon.
Outbreaks were also detected in Suyo, Sta. Lucia, and Sugpon, Ilocos Sur; Solana, Amulung, Iguig, Tuao, and Alcala, Cagayan; Iba, Santa Cruz, and Castillejos, Zambales; Diffun, Saguday, Aglipay, Cabarroguis, and Maddela, Quirino; Aguinaldo and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao; Kasibu, Quezon, Bagabag, Bayombong, Kayapa, Villaverde, Aritao, Dupax del Norte, Santa Fe, and Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya; and Bagac and Morong, Bataan.
As of Jan. 29, some 436,423 hogs have been culled since the detection of ASF in 2019, according to the Department of Agriculture.
ASF is a severe and highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease in pigs that poses no health risks to humans.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar has blamed ASF for the depletion of the pork supply, which caused prices of pork sold in Metro Manila to top P400 per kilogram.
Mr. Dar recently announced that the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Advisory Council has endorsed increasing the MAV allocation for pork imports to 388,790 metric tons (MT), significantly larger than the current allocation of 54,000 MT.
Pork imports inside the MAV are charged a 30% tariff rate while those outside MAV pay 40%.
A price ceiling was also ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte via Executive Order No. 124, which limits the price of pork shoulder (kasim) at P270 per kilogram, pork belly (liempo) at P300, and whole chicken at P160. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave