Pork from Luzon still banned in Cebu despite DILG order

By: Rosalie Abatayo October 16,2019 - 07:08 PM

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia says she will not the order from the Department of Interior and Local Government to lift the ban on live hogs, pork and pork-related products from Luzon.| CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Live hogs, pork and pork-related products from Luzon are still banned from entering Cebu despite an order from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to lift the order.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in an interview on Wednesday afternoon, October 16, said she cannot open Cebu’s borders to Luzon pork products knowing the continued spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus in several provinces in Luzon.

“I will always be respectful of Secretary Eduardo Año, secretary of the Department Interior and Local Government. However, I believe that as the governor of Cebu, my mandate and my responsibility is to protect the province of Cebu, the Cebuanos, and our P10.9-billion hog industry upon which thousands and thousands of Cebuanos depend on for their livelihood,” Garcia said.

The governor cited Section 16 of the Local Government Code which allows local government units (LGUs) to exercise its powers over their jurisdiction for the promotion of general welfare.

In a news release posted in the website of the DILG on October 16, Año said “processed meat products that contain pork as ingredient, either partially or fully, should also be allowed to be distributed and sold to all provinces.”

At least 56 provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, including Cebu, have banned pork products from Luzon because of the ASF outbreak in the area.

“Since the government has been acting aggressively and effectively to address the ASF outbreak, we are urging all LGUs to lift the ban on processed meat products containing pork for as long as the products meet certain conditions imposed by the Department of Agriculture,” Año said in the DILG statement.

“Upon demand by LGU quarantine officials, the Certificate of Product Registration of processed meat products issued by the Food and Drug Administration to the manufacturers may be shown to LGUs. This should suffice to allow movement and distribution to all provinces,” he added.

Año made the pronouncement following the appeal of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (Pampi) that the ban hoisted over the 56 provinces in the country is costing a total loss amounting to P50 billion.

Año is not the first national official to try to convince Garcia and other provinces to lift the ban.

Last September, Agriculture Secretary William Dar tried to convince Garcia to also lift the ban but Garcia did not heed the call. / celr

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TAGS: banned pork products, DILG order, Luzon pork banned in Cebu, pork from Luzon not allowed

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