On ASF: Court grants Capitol’s TRO petition vs BAI
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has appealed to the city government of Ormoc to lift their Executive Order prohibiting the entry of hogs and pork products coming from Pilar, San Francisco, Poro, and Tudela in Camotes, as the governor said there was no longer any reason to prohibit their entry.
This was after the Court of Appeals granted the petition of the Cebu Provincial Government for a 60-day Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
Shipment of hogs
“In fact, with this TRO, BAI will have to issue the shipping permit. They will have to recognize that there is no reason to prohibit the shipment of our hogs, pigs,” Garcia said during a media briefing on Friday, June 30, 2023. A clip of the governor’s statement was also aired at Sugbo News, the official media portal of the Capitol.
CDN Digital has yet to get the side of BAI on this development.
Although culling has ceased to be implemented in Cebu as a result of Garcia’s Memorandum No. 06-203, BAI still considers Cebu to be an African Swine Flu (ASF)-infected red zone, making it difficult for the province’s hog farmers to export their products.
Camotes mayors’ appeal
In the first week of June, the four mayors of Camotes Group of Islands (CGI) appealed, through the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP)-Cebu chapter and the Provincial Government Council, to the Provincial Government of Leyte and City Government of Ormoc to open up their borders and the market for hog livestock and products from the island.
This was after Ormoc City Mayor Torres issued her Executive Order No. 2023-0031.
The EO, issued in March 2023, prohibits the entry of live pigs, pork, and pork-related products and by-products, whether fresh, frozen, processed, or cooked, including but not limited to frozen boar semen from areas with reported African Swine Fever (ASF) cases into the City of Ormoc.
Camotes’ hog sector
The four mayors of Camotes previously stated that the BAI stance on ASF had a detrimental effect on the Camotes Islands’ hog sector, which had been free of ASF cases since. Ormoc is also one of the biggest markets for hog growers from Camotes.
“The only justification nga (that) any local government unit would prohibit the entry [of hogs] was, it was BAI’s declaration, and they are supposed to be science-based. Pero (But), the way I was seeing it sa kadaghang baboy nangamatay, sayang-based. Sayang ang mga baboy (with the many deaths of hogs, it is such a waste. It is a waste of hogs),” Garcia said on Friday.
The governor then appealed to other local government units (LGUs) to settle the ASF issues among themselves.
Earlier this week, Negros Oriental Governor Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria announced during his visit to Garcia that the provinces of Negros Oriental and Cebu would soon issue a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of uniform measures against ASF threat.
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