DA chief reports significant decline in active ASF cases


Senators were informed Friday only five provinces in three regions still have active cases of the deadly African swine fever (ASF).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar disclosed this at a Senate committee hearing on the proposed annual budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for 2022.

Dar, however, did not name the affected areas, but indicated that the ASF-hit areas include 83 barangays in 20 towns and cities.

Instead, he told senators that at the peak of the ASF contagion, they traced the deadly virus infecting 3,383 barangays in 624 cities and towns in the 12 regions.

The agriculture chief added that just like the Covid-19 infections, ASF could still spread anew if all health and quarantine protocols are not followed.

At the same time, senators observed, however, that pork and meat prices remained high even as recorded ASF cases have gone down.

In reply, Dar explained one probable reason could be that hog raising is confined in a so-called green zone, or areas declared to be ASF free. Moreover, he added that hog raisers in other areas are not rushing to resume, opting to wait and see.

It will be recalled that the Philippines was placed under a state of calamity until December due to the outbreak of ASF.

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