Indemnity per ASF-culled hog hiked

THE Department of Agriculture, through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (DA-PCIC), has officially increased its indemnity for hogs culled due to African swine fever (ASF) from P5,000 to P10,000.

“With the increased indemnity, hog raisers are encouraged to report affected pigs, thus controlling the ASF from spreading,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the latest development was mainly driven by the agriculture department’s goal to allow the local hog sector to get back to business and subsequently stabilize pork supply and prices in the local market.

Dar also encouraged backyard and commercial hog raisers to secure insurance packages and take advantage of the free and discounted insurance premium to regain their livelihood and businesses, and more importantly revive the country’s ASF-stricken swine sector.
The insurance covers P10,000 per head for fatteners, P14,500 per head for breeders and P34,000 per head for parent stocks, according to DA-PCIC President Jovy Bernabe.

He further said that besides backyard swine raisers and farmers’ cooperatives, the insurance program will also cover local governments, and state colleges and universities, which implement respective hog fattening and breeding programs.

Meanwhile, agriculture industry leaders asked President Rodrigo Duterte to shelve the proposals of the agriculture department to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) plus allocation of pork and reduce pork tariffs, saying these proposals are unnecessary to consumers and the local hog industry.

In an April 6 letter, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, along with the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. and Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc., appealed to Duterte “in desperation” to scrap the DA proposals to increase the MAV plus allocation of pork to 400 million kilograms as well as to further reduce pork tariffs.

“Neither of these proposals are necessary, nor are they beneficial to consumers and the local hog industry, Mr. President. Increasing the MAV to 400 million kilos of pork is equivalent to eight million pig heads, and is way above the current inventory of our backyard hog raisers at 6.9 million heads. This action will not make pork more affordable for our countrymen, and it further cripples a hog industry that is already suffering from the DA’s mismanagement of the ASF outbreak,” the letter reads.