Garcia, however, has already issued EO 16, which enforces a total ban on pork and pork-related products along with live hogs coming from Luzon where ASF managed to breach small backyard swine farms in Rizal and Bulacan.
Michael Varcas/File
On pork, pork products from Luzon: LGUs urged to support ban
Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - September 23, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Board Member Francis Salimbangon has passed a resolution urging all local government units and allied government agencies of Cebu Province to support the ban on pork products and live hogs from outside the island.

Salimbangon passed the resolution after news of the African Swine Fever breach in the country broke out. ASF is a deadly viral disease without cure or preventive vaccine. An ASF outbreak means an immediate 100 percent mortality rate among swines in the area infected.

The resolution aims to not only inform the local government units of the Executive Orders Garcia has issued in line with ASF but also to call on the LGUs and agencies to help the province’s ASF task force in ensuring that precautionary measures are met.

"In order to protect the Cebuano consumers and hog raisers, we urge the LGUs and allied government agencies to remain at full guard against ASF and support Governor Gwendolyn Gacia’s EO No 13,13-a,14, and 15," Salimbangon’s resolution reads.

A copy of the resolution will be forwarded to the LGUs across the province.

Garcia, however, has already issued EO 16, which enforces a total ban on pork and pork-related products along with live hogs coming from Luzon where ASF managed to breach small backyard swine farms in Rizal and Bulacan.

EO 16 has been the subject of dispute between the Cebu Provincial Government and the Department of Agriculture with the latter calling it an overreaction to the news on ASF.

DA Secretary William Dar said in a statement over the weekend:

"In these trying times, particularly in protecting our shores from the challenges of major diseases such as the ASF, we appeal for unity and brotherhood among our countrymen, most particularly our local chief executives.”

He asked Garcia and Bohol Governor Arthur Yap to “soften their hearts and allow the transport and trade of ASF-free hogs, pork, pork products and processed food items to and fro their respective provinces.”

Garcia stood firm on her executive order and described the Da as underreacting.

"I saw that for the ensuing events from the first hog death on July 25 and thereafter how events have quickly unfolded, I am seeing the Department of Agriculture underreacting," Garcia said.

"If we must err, let us err in the side of caution," she added.

In a press conference last Saturday, Garcia reiterated that the ban is necessary as there is clear and present danger that threatens the province’s swine industry.

"When a virus spreads, from our assessment, then obviously there had not been enough strict measures," she pointed out.

Cebu has a P10 billion hog industry on which famous products like lechon and chicharon depend greatly.

"While I fully understand his position, being the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture... on the other hand, I hope he would also understand my position as Governor of Cebu. As Governor of Cebu, I am tasked to focus first and foremost on the interest if the province," Garcia said.

The ban in the province is effective for 100 days but Garcia said this can be extended when there is a need to. (FREEMAN)

BAN ON PORK PRODUCTS
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