February 7, 2018

By: Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The House Committee on Agriculture and Food gave its nod to a proposal creating the Philippine Native Animal Development Center (PNADC) to promote the scientific propagation and development of the country’s native animals. The panel, chaired by ANAC-IP partylist Rep. Jose Panganiban Jr. has approved the substitute bill to House Bills 3540, 3700, 3985, 4724 and 4741, which all aim to further develop the competitiveness of the native animal industry.

Deputy Speaker and AAMBIS-OWA partylist Rep. Sharon Garin, one of the principal authors of the bill, said the measure seeks to introduce an effective animal breeding system and develop and promote native animals as a reliable source of regular food for the Filipinos and as a potential niche product of the Philippines.

“This will also strengthen research and development on native animals, particularly in the preservation of their genetic makeup and increase the contribution of native animals in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP),” she said. She laments that the lack of adequate research infrastructure in the country and the appropriate technology in promoting and propagating local breeds hindered the development of the native animal industry for years.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafurte, who also authored the bill, said the development in the production and utilization of native animals needs the government’s help. “By promoting the scientific propagation and development of Philippine native animals, as the bill supports, this helps us develop a self-reliant and independent production of goods that is enabled by local farms,” he said. He noted that there are ongoing programs spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). “However, implementation of policies for the improvement of production and the education of farmers have to be institutionalized,” Villafuerte said.

The substitute bill calls for the establishment of a comprehensive program for the promotion and development of native animals. It seeks the creation of the Philippine Native Animal Development Center, which shall be under the supervision and control of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The Center is expected to encourage backyard development in rural areas by raising native animals and undertake training programs for farmers on the proper reproduction and utilization of native animals.

The measure also provides the creation of one Native Animal Regional Satellite Center (NARSC) in selected regions in the country. The NARSC shall administer the programs, projects and policies of the PNADC in their respective locality.