By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST-PHL), as part of its efforts to formulate science-based policies is preventing deadly health-related outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) conducted a round table discussion on ASF June 11, 2019 at Max Restaurant, Circle, Quezon City.
The event is part of NAST PHL’s initiative to prevent the entry of ASF and create measures to mitigate an outbreak, in case the deadly disease enters the Philippines.
Since the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) underscores that ASF is a fatal animal disease affecting pigs and wild boars with up to 100 percent mortality, outbreak control strategies must be in place. This can effectively be addressed through close communication and coordination with local experts in the swine industry, including veterinarians and other government and private organizations.
In line with this, a Science Information Forum was conducted to determine the status of the deadly ASF and identify the measures taken by the government, academe, and private sectors to prevent its entry in the Philippines. Ultimately, the activity seeks to collate inputs that will provide useful information in crafting a policy paper. Such output aims to complement with the efforts made by the government and other sectors in preventing the entry of ASF in the country.
Representatives from public and private organizations, academic institutions, research and development institutions, swine breeders’ associations, and other attached agencies, of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) attended the forum.
Among the topics presented were the history of ASF, economic implications of this disease, and lectures highlighting the different initiatives made by the government, academe and private sectors to ensure that an outbreak in the Philippines will be prevented, these were discussed by Dr. Maria Glofezita Lagayan , Focal person for communication, African Swine Forum Task Force, Bureau of Animal Industry.
Dr. Angel Manabat, external Vice President, Philippine College of Science Practitioners talked about Private Sectors to prevent entry of ASF in the country and the economic impact of ASF Outbreak on the Swine Industry.
Dr. Clarissa Domingo, Professor, Central Luzon State University presented the initiatives to prevent entry of ASF in the Philippines.
Dr. Romeo Sanchez, Jr., Professor, Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines Los Banos.
The academy regularly conducts policy forums with different government agencies and private institutions to generate sound policy recommendations geared towards addressing a specific pressing issue. The results and recommendations from these activities are then incorporated within commissioned papers to be presented at NAST PHL’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
NAST PHL is the premier advisory and recognition body on science and technology in the country. It is an attached agency to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) mandated by law (E.O, 818 Series of 1982) to advise the president and Cabinet on matters related to S&T. (Philippine Press Club, Inc. (PPCI))