Cebu governor may extend pork ban beyond June 30

Cebu Governor suggests food companies should consider the option of sourcing pork from Cebu

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | January 20,2020 - 01:25 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she might issue another order extending the validity of the ban on Luzon-sourced pork and related products beyond June 30, 2020.

Garcia said the province will not let up on its vigilance and monitoring of the entry of pork products in the province, considering the persisting African Swine Fever (ASF) situation in Luzon provinces.

“I am so sad to hear from very reliable sources that the ASF has not been contained and in fact has spread to other provinces in Luzon,” the governor said. “We cannot allow our beloved Cebu to be a victim as well.” 

During the Sinulog 2020 celebration, Garcia’s attention was caught by the issue of an exclusive selling rights contract between Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) and Manila-based San Miguel Foods.

Read: Labella on complaint over SFI-San Miguel exclusive food sale contract: ‘I’ll see what I can do’

Garcia said representatives from the company assured her in a meeting before the event at the Cebu City Sports Center Grandstand last Sunday, January 19, 2020, that they have not brought in any pork products from Manila and instead will be selling chicken-based products.

“I told them, ‘it’s time for you to reassess your position,’ as well as other Manila companies that come here and sell their finished products,” Garcia said. “Reassess your position because there is a possibility that I will be extending the ban beyond June 30.” 

The governor said the pork entry ban should remain in effect until it is certain that ASF has been contained.

Garcia first imposed a total ban on all pork products from Luzon in September following the confirmation of ASF cases there. 

Read: Cebu province imposes total ban vs hogs, pork products from Luzon

The 100-day ban was supposed to end in December.

But with more towns reportedly being affected, Garcia decided to extend the ban until June 30, 2020.

Read: Gwen extends ban on Luzon-sourced pork products to June 2020

This January 2020, Garcia expanded the ban to cover products from provinces in Eastern Visayas after the latter lifted their ban against Luzon pork products’ entry.

Garcia said food companies should consider the option of sourcing their pork raw materials from Cebu as she assures that the P11-billion hog industry remains ASF-free.

“Diri na lang ninyo i-source sa Cebu kay kaya man na sa atong mga pork producers” Garcia said.

(Just source your products from Cebu because our pork producers can cope.)

“As responsible food companies, prudence dictates that you must be very very sure that your raw materials are ASF free,” she added. /bmjo

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TAGS: African Swine Flu, ASF, cebu pork ban, Cebu province, extend, Gwen Garcia, luzon-based pork

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