Senator Mark A. Villar joined the 30th Hog Convention held in Iloilo City. The convention was attended by members of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, and local Ilonggo hog farmers.

“It is an honor to be with our hog farmers and pork producers as we open this year’s convention on one of the staple products of our economy. Ang ating pork industry po ay isa sa mga mahahalagang produkto ng bansa kung kaya ay nakakatuwa pong makita na mayroon tayong annual conventions kung saan makakahanap tayo ng possible collaborations para sa development ng industriya,” Villar said.

In recent reports, the swine inventory has accounted for 55% of the total animal industry, making it the biggest contributor. As of the end of September 2023, the country’s total swine inventory was estimated at 9.86 million wherein 67.5% came from small-hold farms while the remaining 29.2% and 3.3% were from commercial and semi-commercial farms respectively.  

Villar emphasized the importance of backyard farmers in the thriving swine industry and promised support for their development through infrastructures and programs that will introduce novel techniques and equipment.

“Tuloy tuloy po ang ating ibibigay na suporta sa ating mga hog farmers dito sa Iloilo. Bukod sa ating mga infrastructures,  mayroon po tayong mga bills na nakasalang sa Senado na makakatulong para sa improvement ng livestock, poultry, at local agriculture,” he added.

“The current volume of 9.86 million heads is still far from the 13 million we had before the country recorded its first ASF outbreak in 2019. Sama sama po tayo sa pagbangon ng swine industry. It is only a matter of time before we reach, and even exceed, the pre-ASF numbers of our hogs. Kaya sa ating nga kababayan dito sa Iloilo at buong Panay, makakaasa kayo sa aking suporta.” the senator said.

Following the program proper, Villar joined DA Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel and the officials of the National Federation of Hog Farmers and Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines for the ceremonial lechon chopping and the ribbon cutting of the trade exhibits.