Press Release
May 25, 2016

Villar: Hog sector, major contributor in PH agri production

Having been bestowed by the World Organization for Animal Health the highest level of recognition for being free from Food and Mouth Disease (FMD), Senator Cynthia A. Villar said the Philippines has an edge over other countries in pork production.

"Along with that, we continue to prioritize and safeguard public health, especially in the presence of threats from animal diseases abroad," said Villar.

The senator, chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food committee, was the Guest Speaker during the 25th National Hog Convention and Exhibits with the theme "HogCon @25: Putting our Best Pork Forward" held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City.

This year's theme, Villar said, is a validation of the industry's leading organizations and stakeholders' continuing commitment and efforts in the further growth and development of the sector.

Villar noted that the livestock sector, particularly the hog sub sector, continues to be a major contributor to the country's agricultural production.

Based on the latest available data, she said the hog sub sector recorded a 4.21 percent growth in output during the last quarter of 2015.

At current prices, the sub sector's gross value of output amounted to P72.1 billion which was 1.54 percent higher than the previous year's (2014) fourth quarter record.

From January to December 2015, production in the hog sub sector increased by 3.83 percent.

"So, this year, we hope that the statistics will be even better," said Villar, promising her continuous support to the pork industry particularly the challenges they are facing.

Villar also said they have brought to everyone's attention the scope of smuggling that is still prevalent in our country.

"I have sponsored in the Senate plenary Senate Bill No. 2923 that will declare smuggling of agricultural products as economic sabotage and a non-bailable offense. We are just waiting for the signature of the President to become a law," said Villar.

She emphasized that smuggling is one big obstacle for the take off of our agriculture sector. It also burdened the already suffering Filipino farmers so we really need to put an end to smuggling.

Furthermore, she likewise said they had made provisions in our National Budget for some other areas of concerns affecting the agriculture sector like the El Niño phenomenon.

"Our country, an archipelago, is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. It is good that despite El Niño, we still posted significant growth in farm production," she added.

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