Mindanao hog raisers want ban on pork from Luzon to stay
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Hog raisers in Mindanao are opposing the order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to lift the ban on the entry of pork from Luzon for fear it could destroy the hog industry on the entire island.
Mindanao is still free from the African swine fever (ASF) virus, and lifting the ban on processed pork would run counter to the efforts to protect the local hog industry, said Alvin Teves, former president of Hog Farmers of Davao (Hogfad).
Hogfad secretary Mae Ann Cortez disclosed that the Food and Drug Administration confiscated more than a week ago several canned pork from a mall in Davao City as these reportedly came from ASF-affected countries.
Teves explained that the status of Mindanao’s hog industry as ASF-free should be protected to prevent the industry from suffering huge loses that befell hog raisers in Luzon.
The country’s hog industry is estimated at P500 billion but with the ASF outbreak, the industry is incurring an estimated monthly revenue loss of P50 billion, he noted.
As Christmas nears, Teves said the people of Mindanao must be assured they could celebrate the holidays with all the traditional pork-based food like lechon and ham from ASF-free hogs.
Teves hopes Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will heed the industry players’ request to have the ban on Luzon pork stay.
In Cagayan de Oro City, which also declared a similar ban, officials steered clear of talks on lifting the order.
Provincial veterinarian Benjamin Resma said they were not yet keen on lifting the ban anytime soon as suggested by the DILG.
He added that only Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano can order the revocation of the executive order banning the entry of pigs and pork meat products from Luzon that he signed last month.
“It is not good to lift the ban. Imagine the millions of pesos that will be lost once ASF will enter Mindanao,” Resma said.
Leo Mira, the regional veterinary quarantine officer, said quarantine checkpoints in all the entry points of Northern Mindanao were still in effect.
“We are monitoring and have been strengthening our surveillance in every locality. We are keeping a close watch to ensure that ASF will not enter the region,” Mira said.
He said all Northern Mindanao provincial chief executives, except Lanao del Norte, have already issued their respective executive orders to implement the ban.
On Friday, the Misamis Oriental provincial government held a public grill party for the second time to show that local pork is safe and free from ASF.
The provincial government roasted 25 pigs and cooked humba, a popular local dish, and barbecued 125 kilos of pork meat.
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