MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the agriculture department to use his office's contingency fund in addressing the spread of African swine fever in the country.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the fund will be used as assistance to hog raisers and for the designation of cold storage areas for "100 percent monitoring" of the entry of meat products in the ports of Manila, Subic, Batangas, Cebu and Davao.
The Philippines, the world's 10th largest consumer of pork and 7th biggest importer, has banned the entry of pork from countries affected with the hog disease including China, which it earlier said was responsible for the spread of ASF in the country.
The outbreak has cost the local hog industry P1 billion in "opportunity losses" each month, the agency earlier said.
While not harmful to humans, ASF is fatal to pigs and some 7,000 hogs have been killed in the Philippines to prevent its spread.