Duterte OKs release of P1 billion to address ASF
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of P1 billion to be used in the government's effort against the spread of the African swine fever, Malacanang said on Thursday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night in Malacanang, Agriculture Secretary William Dar requested Duterte to allow the use of the remaining contingent fund of the Office of the President to address ASF.
"To address the issue on African swine fever, the Chief Executive approved Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s request to use the remaining contingent fund of the Office of the President for the indemnification of hog raisers, and designate cold storage areas in the Ports of Manila, Subic, Batangas, Cebu and Davao for 100% monitoring of meat products entry," he said.
Dar, in a text message to reporters, said the contingency fund is P1 billion.
The government has confirmed the presence of ASF in the country late August in Rizal allegedly after hogs were fed with swills contaminated with the virus.
Similar ASF cases were reported in Bulacan, Pangasinan, Pampanga and in some areas in Metro Manila, such as the cities of Quezon, Caloocan and Malabon.
Also in the 43rd Cabinet meeting, which Duterte led, the looming water shortage in Metro Manila was discussed.
Panelo said Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Administrator Emmanuel Salamat requested the issuance of department orders from the Department of the Interior and Local Government to local chief executives to expedite necessary permits to meet timelines of the projects of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.
Salamat also suggested the need to secure assistance from other agencies to create a comprehensive water security plan; proposed that there be created an inter-agency task force on water supply and sewerage; and sought that the Laguna Lake be declared as a vital source of water which needs protection and security.
The water concessionaires in Metro Manila and nearby areas have been implementing rotational water supply interruptions amid the critical level of Angat Dam, a reservoir that supplies water in the region. Celerina Monte/DMS