Garcia warns of jail time
Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Individuals and commercial establishments caught smuggling and selling pork and pork-related products from Luzon into Cebu can face up to six months in jail, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia warned.

This after the governor learned from provincial veterinarian Mary Rose Vincoy that there are establishments here that sell pork products from Luzon after inspection by the provincial task force on African Swine Fever (ASF).

Garcia said the establishments have been identified.

"This time, we will be really filing a case against them under the present ordinance," she said.

On September 16, 2019, the Provincial Board passed an ordinance prohibiting the entrance and sale of live hogs, boar semen, pork, and pork-related products sourced from Luzon and the 21 countries infected by ASF. Those who violated the ordinance will be fined up to P5,000 and face imprisonment of up to six months.

Garcia said she will not hesitate to break the moratorium on the accommodation of inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center and accommodate the violators of the ordinance there.

"And I’m looking at that: Ang six months imprisonment. As I said, didto, just for this, kay mga gahi kaayo ug ulo nga mga establishments… di na man unta ta manawat ug detainees sa CPDRC, I will welcome them. Kay i-ehemplo ko gyud sila (I’m looking at that six-month imprisonment. As I’ve said, I will put them there because they are hardheaded… we’re not supposed to accommodate detainees at CPDRC but I will welcome them. I will make them an example)," she said.

She called on businessmen to think beyond business.

"Dili lang negosyo unta ang ilang huna-hunaon. Maghuna-huna unta sila sa ilang pagka-Sugboanon kay magtinabangay ta ani… dili lang puros kwarta ilang huna-hunaon (They shouldn’t think only of the business. They should also think about their being Cebuanos because we have to work together on this. We can’t think of just money all the time)," Garcia added.

The ASF task force will monitor establishments more strictly during the holiday season now that the demand for pork is expected to go up. 

ASF is a deadly viral disease exclusive to swine that assures a one hundred percent mortality rate in two to ten days. Although it does not affect humans, people, other animals and objects could easily be carriers of the disease. At present, there is no cure or a preventive vaccine for ASF.

For the past four months, the ASF task force confiscated at least 5,287 kilos of pork products from different markets, convenience stores, and ports across the province. The 5,287 kilos could have sold up to P1,435,292.

The task force also shipped out of the province live hogs  worth P1.14 million and 2,773 kilos of pork products like chorizo, longganiza, and hotdog worth P3 million.  JMO (FREEMAN)

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