Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced the other day that the deaths of pigs in Bulacan and Rizal, Quezon were caused by the ASF. Based on the laboratory results, 14 out of 20 samples were tested positive.
BusinessWorld/File
Hogs, pork products from Luzon banned
Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Province of Cebu is now imposing a total ban of live hogs from Luzon as well as frozen pork and other pork-related products from Bulacan and Rizal where presence of African swine fever has been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced the other day that the deaths of pigs in Bulacan and Rizal, Quezon were caused by the ASF. Based on the laboratory results, 14 out of 20 samples were tested positive.

As a response to the confirmation that ASF has indeed reached the Philippines, the Capitol added more provisions to Executive Order 14, which bans live hogs and pork products from 20 ASF-affected countries and other sources without proper requirements.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia declared a ban on live hogs from all areas of Luzon. On top of it, Cebu is also prohibited from importing processed and frozen pork and pork-related products from the areas directly affected by the virus.

The ban will last for one hundred days. This was effective yesterday following an updated EO which also includes additional documentary requirements for live hogs, pork, and pork-related products from outside sources in general.

“We really tried to weigh all considerations. First and foremost is to protect our swine industry in Cebu but we also have to weigh it against the interest of other industries,” Garcia explained.

According to her, live hogs are “in the best position to transmit if they carry such virus” which explains the bigger scope of the ban as compared to the processed and frozen products.

“Kinahanglan pud nato i-consider nga kung atong i-ban ang tanan areas, we might have a shortage of pork dire sa Cebu,” Garcia said.

Cebu is an importer of pork. Fifteen percent of its total pork demand is sourced from areas outside the province.

Meanwhile, Cebu Third District Board Member Victoria “Tata” Coromines-Toribio, chairperson of the PB committee on agriculture, is now drafting a proposed ordinance for stricter implementation of EO 14.

“Ang purpose sa ordinance is to strengthen the executive order nga gi-issue ni Gov,” Torribio said.

An ordinance would provide for penalties against violators.

“Deterrent siya sa mga mag-attempt ug import ug katong mga infected nga mga hogs ug katong mga pork meat nga gi-ban na karon ni Gov,” she said.

The maximum fine would be P5,000 and/or six years in prison.

She said she will request the governor to certify her proposed ordinance as an urgent. This would mean that the first, second and third reading for its approval would be compressed into one PB session. (FREEMAN)

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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