MANILA Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Thursday said the government should come up with mitigation measures to prevent a financial disaster in the event of a possible outbreak of the African swine fever (ASF) in the country.
In a statement, Recto said the PHP280 billion a year hog industry deserves calamity aid in the event of a local outbreak.
I think that a study group should be convened to assess the financial fallout in the event of a worst-case scenario. Next to rice, the hog industry is the biggest in agriculture in terms of value. It is also the 8th biggest in the world, Recto said.
We must be ahead of the curve. Dapat ready tayo (We should be ready) for every imaginable scenario. Kung mayroong (If there is) mass culling, ano ang tulong na dapat ibigay doon sa mga (what kind of assistance do we have to extend to) hog raisers? Recto said.
Recto said appropriating allocations for the assistance package for the dependents of the local hog industry is beyond the mandate of the Department of Agriculture, noting that such a move requires the help of Congress.
It is something that is discussed in the highest levels of government, in the Cabinet, in both houses of Congress, more so if it requires a huge amount of money and bridge financing, Recto said.
Recto noted that the hog industry is the 8th biggest in the world by volume with annual production nearing 2.3 metric tons so any production disruption will be felt on Filipino dining tables.
Remember, this is the land of lechon, the national fiesta food; adobo, the national comfort food; sisig, is one of the pambasang pulutans; and longganisa and tocino are the breakfast of champions, Recto said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency