Cebu bans hogs from Luzon, processed pork products from Bulacan and Rizal
CEBU CITY, Philippines — In the wake of the first confirmed cases in the country, Cebu province banned the entry of live hogs from Luzon in the next 100 days.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in a press conference on Wednesday, September 11, said processed pork products from the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan are also covered by the ban. The ban takes effect on the same day, September 11.
The governor’s decision came after the group of swine raisers in Cebu appealed to the Cebu ASF Task Force during their emergency meeting on Tuesday evening to completely ban pork products from ASF-affected areas in order to protect their industry.
Cebu’s hog industry, which supplies roasters of Cebu’s famous lechon, has a current net value of about P10.9 billion.
“We tried to weigh all considerations. First and foremost is to protect our swine industry in Cebu. But we also need to weigh in the interest of other industries,” said Garcia.
“Live hogs are in the best position to transmit if they are infected with the virus that is why we are immediately banning all live hogs coming from Luzon,” the governor added.
Garcia made the announcement two days after the Department of Agriculture confirmed on September 9, 2019, that 14 out 20 blood samples from the hogs that died in Rizal and Bulacan were positive with ASF. The confirmation marked the first confirmed ASF cases in the Philippines.
Garcia, however, explained that the province cannot simply impose the ban for all other provinces in order to ensure that the pork demand in the province is still met.
“Kung atong i-ban ang tanan, we might have a shortage of pork diri sa Cebu. We know that we have a shortfall of about 10 to 15 percent on the available nga pork nato diri in Cebu. We are also considering that. We do not wish to see a sudden spike in the price of pork products,” Garcia added.
While the total live hog and pork product ban does not apply with suppliers from provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, Garcia reiterated that Executive Order NO. 14 is still in place to ensure stricter monitoring on the entry of these products in the province.
Under EO 14, live hogs and pork-related products will only be allowed entry in the province if they bear a certification from the National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS) and a shipment permit from the local veterinary office of the point of origin.
This means that passenger of vessels or airlines that carry pork products from other provinces into Cebu will be asked to surrender these items upon their arrival in airports and seaports for inspection./elb
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