CONFIRMED cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) are now only detectable in 19 barangays in various parts of the country, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said.

“We are seeing a positive development in the country’s fight against ASF. As of now, areas that have existing ASF cases are 19 barangays,” BAI Director Reildrin G. Morales said in a virtual briefing Tuesday.

Mr. Morales did not identify the locations where ASF was still present. Overall, the outbreak had affected 2,787 barangays as of June 4.

He said that as of June 4, a total of 475,638 hogs have been culled to control the spread of the virus while 64,704 farmers were affected by the outbreak.

Mr. Morales added that 37,675 farmers have received indemnification amounting to P1.55 billion as of May 31.

In April, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that it has doubled its indemnification payout to hog farmers to P10,000 per animal.

The DA said the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. increased its indemnification to encourage farmers to report affected hogs.

DA Spokesman Noel O. Reyes said pork products imported in response to the shortages caused by the outbreak amounted to 36,162 metric tons (MT) as of June 4.

Mr. Reyes said the total is equivalent to 67% of the old minimum access volume (MAV) quota for pork imports of 54,210 MT.

“The additional 200,000 MT MAV quota is still for approval by the MAV Advisory Council,” Mr. Reyes said.

On May 15, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 134 that reset the tariff rates of pork imports within the MAV quota to 10% for three months and up to 15% over the following nine months.

Tariffs for out-of-quota pork imports were adjusted to 20% for the first three months and 25% in the succeeding nine months.

Before the EO, in-quota pork imports paid 30% while out-of-quota pork imports were charged 40%.

Mr. Duterte also signed EO 133, which raised the MAV allocation for pork imports to 254,210 MT from the previous 54,210 MT. Proclamation No. 1143 also placed the country under a state of calamity due to the ASF outbreak. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave