Hundreds of pigs from various backyard farms died in at least two provinces due to the disease, which does not affect humans but will, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), potentially endangers the livelihoods of millions of people.
Agriculture Minister William Dar told the media on Monday that 14 of the 20 blood samples from the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan, located near the capital, Manila, had tested positive, Efe news reported.
Dar said that President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the creation of a special team to fight the potential outbreak of the virus, which has until now affected some 7,400 pigs.
Since the detection of one of the first cases in August 2018 in China, the epidemic has spread across the Asian giant and has also affected Mongolia, Cambodia, and Laos.
In Vietnam, more than 2.6 million pigs have been culled in an attempt to control the spread of the disease.