The report about the outbreak of the African Swine Fever in Davao Occidental and some villages in Calinan has driven the hog industry to a halt.
Both local government units (LGUs) have come up with measures with the desire to contain the spread of the virus and help the industry stakeholders. Among the steps is placing both areas under the state of calamity.
Placing an area under the state of calamity allows the LGU to use its calamity fund to mitigate the impact of the problem, as well as provides it with a leeway in crafting measures necessary to control the disease.
However, the main problem is how to contain the anxiety of the stakeholders as the problem is definitely driving down the industry.
Another ugly head of the problem is the greed of those who believe they can use it to milk consumers dry, particularly those selling products that have become alternative to pork. Fish and meat prices have started to spiral that for just a week, markups jumped to considerable levels.
So steps must be taken to address not only the main problem, but also the resulting woes that the consumers have been facing. It is not just the industry that is facing the problem, but even other sectors, including those who do not patronize pork and its by-products, have to face the consequences.
Concerned government agencies must immediately institute mechanisms to mitigate the impact of the problem not only on the industry, but also on the consumers. This can only be done if measures also carry punitive actions against those who are taking advantage of the situation.