MinDA chief calls for nationwide action versus ASF
Former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who now serves as the chairman of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), has called for a whole-of-nation (WNA) approach in addressing and containing the deadly swine disease African Swine Fever (ASF) that has been killing pigs in some parts of Luzon.
“Mindanao hog industry stakeholders are calling on the national government to employ President Rody Duterte’s Whole-of-Nation Approach in addressing the dreaded ASF,” Pinol said.
Piñol explained that the need for the WNA Strategy in preventing the spread of the disease surfaced following the interception of a meat delivery van loaded with pork in Tacloban City and the announcement by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año that his department will ask Local Government Units (LGUs) to lift the ban imposed on pork and processed pork products with Certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Earlier, following internationally accepted protocols to prevent the spread of the ASF, the LGUs of Cebu and Bohol issued EOs preventing the entry of pork and processed products from Luzon where an ASF outbreak was reported in August. This was followed by Davao City and other cities and provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao.
However, meat processors and meat importers protested the move, saying it will affect the P56 billion meat processing industry.
As this happens, local hog raisers stakeholders in some parts of Luzon still free from ASF and the whole Visayas and Mindanao criticized the meat processors, saying that they could be at risk too if processed meat products from Luzon will be transported freely across the country.
Because of this, Piñol said Mindanao hog raisers are now calling for a dialogue with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to forge a common ground in addressing the ASF problem while at the same time protecting the hog and meat processing industries.
“They have asked MinDA to facilitate the dialogue,” Piñol said.