Press Release
April 4, 2008

Angara pushes for investigation of hog diseases

Senator Edgardo Angara today pointed out that the prevalence of hog diseases, which plagued the country late last year, is one of the reasons for the shortage of pork and the rise of its prices.

'One of the main reasons why our pork supply has tightened and the price of pork has surged is because the agriculture sector was hit by swine flu and hog cholera, particularly in the Central Luzon provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija," said Angara , chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

'In Bulacan, considered as one of the largest sources of pork products and supplier of most of the meat needs of Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, 3,150 hogs and piglets from 194 backyard farms in 55 villages in 18 towns and two cities in were affected by diseases," said Angara.

'In Nueva Ecija, laboratory tests revealed that at least 6,000 hogs from 19 pig farms were found to have been infected by at least one of the swine diseases. In Pampanga, 2,157 hogs have died due to hog cholera,' Angara said.

According to Angara , climate change is the main culprit for these diseases. Sudden change in the weather, from a dry spell followed by floods of rain, has triggered various diseases on swine and hogs.

Angara said that 'Even as the Philippines have been previously affected by similar calamities such as the El Niño phenomenon in 1998 and the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 1995, the legislation and institutionalization of effective programs and measures to thwart their recurrence or at least to prepare for and mitigate their effects are still nonexistent."

'That is why we are again suffering from its dire consequences,' Angara said.

'This time around, we should be able to prepare and institutionalize effective programs that will avert another calamity similar to what we're experiencing now,' Angara said.

Angara has earlier authored and filed a resolution directing the Committee on Agriculture and Food and Committee on Science and Technology, together with Committee on Finance to conduct a joint inquiry in aid of legislation into the extent and scope of the drought caused by the dry spell and the prevalence of swine flu and hog cholera in several parts of Luzon, as well as the immediate measures the appropriate government agencies have taken to remedy said calamities.

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