During its second-quarter meeting held virtually on June 18, 2024, the National Sectoral Committee on Poultry and Livestock (NSC on PL) pledged its support for the continuation of the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) Program. 

Through a policy resolution, the NSC on PL will recommend to the Congress the approval of the Department of Agriculture-National Livestock Program’s (DA-NLP) proposal for the continuous funding and implementation of INSPIRE for fiscal year 2025. The program was originally designed to run 2022 to 2024. 

According to Dr. Jonathan Sabiniano, Director of the DA-NLP, the program’s implementation strategy starting 2024 had shifted to prioritize the distribution of breeders and gilts to boost local production and lessen pork importation. This shift, recommended by industry stakeholders, aims to accelerate the recovery of the swine breeding population. The Agricultural Training Institute-International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ATI-ITCPH) has already begun incorporating this breeder program into its operations.

Dr. Sabiniano revealed an initial allocation of 20,000 gilts per beneficiary region, with the possibility of adjustments based on specific needs. The DA-NLP is also working towards doubling the total number of gilts distributed. Dr. Ruth Miclat-Sonaco, Director of the ATI-ITCPH, identified Regions III, IV, VI, and VII as the initial beneficiaries for this crucial component. The program will involve collaboration with private sectors and cooperatives to maximize its reach.

The proposed policy resolution will recommend the approval of specific budgetary requirements and targets for FY 2025. This includes an additional Php 6-billion to Php 7-billion to support the distribution of the targeted 40,000 gilts. The resolution will be submitted to key congressional committees, including the House Committee on Agriculture and Food, the Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform, and the Committee on Finance.

The continued implementation of the INSPIRE Program with its enhanced focus on breeder development is expected to significantly contribute to the recovery of the Philippine hog industry. By achieving self-sufficiency in pork production, the program aims to stabilize prices and ensure food security for Filipinos. | Joy Camille Luza