The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) is supportive of the move of local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas (Region 6) banning the entry of live pigs, hog carcasses, pork and pork byproducts coming from Mindanao, particularly Davao Region.
Assistant Secretary Gerard Gonzales, OPAV Special Concerns Officer for Region 6, said that they have been updating President (Rodrigo Duterte) about the status of the African swine fever (ASF) in the Visayas.
Luckily since we are not a landlocked region, we have no cases of ASF here, he said in a press conference held in a hotel in Iloilo City on Wednesday.
He added that in Cebu, OPAV is supportive of the ban because the province has a PHP20 billion backyard hog raising industry. The ban is also implemented in Negros Oriental and Bohol.
If that is also what is being done in Region 6, we are very supportive of it. I think that is the right thing to do for now, that they will not be allowed to enter because we do not want our hog raisers to suffer, especially that as I learned that backyard hog raising is worth PHP10 billion in Panay, he said.
While a ban is implemented in Cebu, yet he said that there is no price increase in pork products, hence there is no need to worry.
Nonetheless, he said there is no need for the national government to declare a ban since issuances by LGUs are enough as long as its enforcement is strictly monitored.
The Regional Advisory Committee for Animal Disease Control and Emergency (RACADCE) in Western Visayas met on Feb. 6 in Aklan.
During the meeting, Agriculture Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter through the provincial veterinarians urged the support LGUs to protect the hog industry in the region, which remains ASF free.
The meeting was held following the confirmation of ASF outbreaks in Davao Occidental and Davao City.
To date, the provinces of Iloilo City, Aklan, Iloilo and Negros Occidental expanded the coverage of their ban of pork and pork products coming from Luzon and other areas which now includes Davao Region.
Currently, the region is more than 200 percent self sufficient in pork products.
Source: Philippines News Agency