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6, 2013

NR # 3279

Lawmaker calls for the creation of a national livestock health program
A lawmaker is proposing the creation of a national livestock health program to initiate and engage in various government activities at the national and local levels in support of livestock farmers. Rep. Delph Gan Lee (Party-list AGR!" filed #ouse $ill %&%& which seeks to improve the livestock industry 'y engaging in the research of alternative nutrition technologies such as feed su'stitutes. Lee said the livestock sector which has consistently recorded positive growth is eyed 'y the Department of Agriculture (DA" to 'e e(port-competitive ahead of the economic integration with the A)*A+ region. According to the neophyte lawmaker even President $enigno ). A,uino !!! mentioned in his speech during the opening ceremonies of the Livestock Philippines %-./ on August 0 %-./ that the DA is drafting the Livestock Poultry and 1eed 2rops !ndustry Roadmap which was e(pected to 'e completed 'y the end of August. Lee added President A,uino stressed under this roadmap more than 34- --- small corn farmers and 'ackyard livestock and poultry raisers will 'enefit from initiatives such as feed farming-milling and livestock and poultry integration partnerships in the first three years of its implementation alone. 5Agriculture )ecretary Proceso Alcala said the livestock sector is a 'right spot for agricultural competitiveness amid tough competition that is e(pected to 'e 'rought a'out 'y the elimination of tariff on most farm goods traded within the A)*A+ region in %-.4. !n filing the 'ill Lee cited the declared policy of the )tate that recogni6es that the agriculture sector provides food and vital raw materials for the rest of the economy. 57he )tate recogni6es that rising productivity and efficiency in the livestock sector are critical in maintaining the afforda'ility of food and purchasing power especially among the poor 8 Lee said. 9nder the measure to 'e known as the 5Livestock #ealth Program Act of %-./ 8 the Department of Agriculture (DA" through the $ureau of Animal !ndustry ($A!" is directed to esta'lish and manage a +ational Livestock #ealth Program that shall engage in various government activities from the national to the local levels in the form of support to livestock farmers. 7he Department is mandated to identify the most common and costly diseases that

are preventa'le 'y vaccination and create a vaccination program for livestock that is 'oth afforda'le and far-reaching. !t shall continuously monitor incidents and out'reaks of livestock diseases 'oth in the country and a'road and shall undertake appropriate measures to ensure the containment of these diseases and the 'est ways to address them. 9nder the 'ill the Department is tasked to develop a ,uarantine program that will safeguard local livestock from possi'le infection from foreign animals. !t shall provide training and training-related events for farmers such as technology transfers schools-on-the-air sustaina'le agriculture practices and other social mo'ili6ation activities. Also it shall improve the production and reproductive potentials of the local herd through the introduction of superior genetic materials: develop and implement programs for conservation and utili6ation of native genetics and technology updating and re-tooling of livestock workers and farmer technicians 'y conducting speciali6ed trainings. 1urthermore the Department shall engage in the research of alternative nutrition technologies such as feed su'stitutes provided that these are 'oth tested and safe 'efore they are introduced to the market. 7he amount of P. --- --- is appropriated as 'udget for the initial implementation of the program and P4- --- every year shall 'e included in the 'udget of the Department for its continued e(pansion. (/-" lvc