TO manage, control, and contain the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF), a P78-million emergency fund will be spent for biosecurity and quarantine operations, disease monitoring and surveillance, upgrading of laboratories, capacity-building, and other disease control measures.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the emergency fund during last week’s Cabinet meeting.
Dar also disclosed that a National ASF Task Force was formed and will convene to flesh out inter-agency coordination, in partnership with concerned local government units (LGUs) and the private sector.
The NATF which is chaired by the President and with the DA as vice-chair and lead agency, is initially composed of secretaries Carlos Dominguez III (DOF), Teodoro Locsin, Jr. (DFA), Eduardo Año (DILG), Francisco Duque (DOH), Roy Cimatu (DENR), Ramon Lopez (DTI), Delfin Lorenzana (DND), Wendel Avisado (DBM), Arthur Tugade (DOTr), and NDRRMC Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
After receiving on September 9 the confirmatory test results from the World Organization for Animal Health or Office International des Epizooties (OIE) reference laboratory in Pirbright, England, the DA Crisis Management Team (CMT) on Swine oriented all the DA regional directors in Luzon (regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, and CAR) on the ASF, and providing them guidelines on how to manage, contain, and control the disease.
They were tasked to communicate the same to their respective provincial city and municipal LGUs through their veterinary officers.
Dar also instructed other DA regional directors in Visayas and Mindanao to submit their respective disaster management plan to prevent the possible spread of ASF in their areas.
The DA plans to meet with concerned governors and their respective veterinary officers to align the LGU’s local issuances and corresponding actions with national guidelines by the expanded CMT (i.e. DA and the private sector) for a concerted effort with the NATF.