The National Banner Program Committee on Poultry, Livestock, and Corn (NBPC- PLC) crafted a policy recommending to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure the active and direct involvement of the private sector in the development of commodity industry roadmap (CIR) on June 29, 2021.

Members of the NBPC-PLC also included in the recommendation the provisions to safeguard and/or protective policies that will ensure fair farmgate price; reclassification and conversion of agricultural lands; and solutions for the identified issues and concerns of the commodity and industry.

In their quarterly meeting, the members also explored possibilities to include in the CIR to strengthen the balance between policies on importation and subsidy of local production.

On the other hand, aside from the CIR, the group also discussed the current situation of the African Swine Fever (ASF) and other pressing matters concerning their respective industries.

According to the ASF situationer report presented by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), as of June 28, 2021, there are 12 provinces, 29 cities/municipalities, and 51 barangays all over the country are currently affected by ASF.   

The Proclamation No. 1143, Series of 2021 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte declaring a state of calamity in the entire country due to the ASF outbreak for a period of one year effective May 10, 2021, helped to accelerate the roll out of government interventions and programs in addressing ASF in the country. 

However, DA Undersecretary-designate for Livestock Dr. William Medrano urged concerned government and private sector entities to unite in addressing and mitigating the effects of ASF in the country.

“The livestock and poultry industry suffered major losses due to ASF and the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite all of this, it remains one of the biggest labor force employers especially in rural areas which contributes to the livelihood generation in the country. We must work hand in hand in addressing the issues being faced by the livestock and poultry industry in the country,” said Usec. Medrano.

Continuous consultative meetings with concerned stakeholders both from private and government are being conducted. As a result, draft regional work plans, joint memorandum circulars and local ordinances were crafted in line with the provisions of the proclamation that will form part of the National Action Plan to address ASF.

Issues surrounding the rabbit industry were also discussed during the meeting. It was revealed that there is no Philippine National Standards (PNS) yet for rabbit production and slaughtering. However, PNS for rabbit production is pipelined in the projects and programs of the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) for FY 2022. There is also a pending classification of whether the rabbit will be under the poultry or livestock industry. 

A public dialogue was proposed to discuss the most pressing issues currently faced by the rabbit industry which are concerns on food safety, importation guidelines which will ensure the prevention of entry of animal diseases that may affect the domestic industry, and promotion as well as marketing of rabbit meat consumption. 

Another policy recommendation that was adopted is the endorsement to the DA Secretary is the result of the selection of the nominees for the NBPC-PLC Chairperson. | CCB