Cebu orders total ban on live hogs, pork products from Luzon

CEBU CITY — Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Wednesday issued an order implementing a total ban on live hogs, pork and processed pork products from Luzon after the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in some areas of Bulacan and Rizal provinces.

Garcia noted the serious concern of a possible ASF entry to the PHP10-billion hog industry in Cebu if the virus is not prevented through proper regulation.

On Tuesday night, Garcia initially announced during the ASF Provincial Task Force meeting that she is strictly regulating the entry of live hogs, pork and pork products from Luzon.

She was quoted in a radio report as saying that she will be meeting with the haulers association to notify them of the provincial government’s regulation in transporting live and processed pork products to the province.

Glenn Anthony Soco, chair of the committee on trade and commerce of the Provincial Board, sponsored a resolution “urging all food-processing business establishments, handlers and processors of food, hotel, restaurants, resorts, distributors and merchants of raw, canned or processed meat products, public markets, grocery stores, and retail outlets” to support the policy issued by the governor.

Soco noted the need to address the possible entry of the virus, which may affect the hog industry in the province, stressing that the national government – through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)- has issued enough regulations to warn the public about the swine diseases.

“Recent pronouncements on the contamination of ASF to pigs in Luzon area are a cause of alarm for the province of Cebu, being the largest pork-producing province in Central Visayas,” Soco said in explaining his resolution passed by the Provincial Board on Tuesday.

He said the provincial government “recognizes the serious need to address the urgent crisis by formulating measures.”

He urged establishments engaged in pork production, transportation, and distribution to maintain a degree of compliance with the set standard retail prices for basic commodities and products as determined by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry.

On Friday last week, the City of Cebu imposed a total of live hogs and pork products from Luzon. Mandaue City followed suit on Tuesday. (PNA)