Cebu Gov to traders: Avoid jail, follow pork ban to stop swine disease | Inquirer News

Cebu Gov to traders: Avoid jail, follow pork ban to stop swine disease

/ 05:00 AM December 28, 2019

Lechon boodle fight at the 3rd Lechon Festival at the Mactan Newtown in Cebu City. INQUIRER/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

CEBU CITY—Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has warned business owners in the province to observe the ban on the sale of pork and other meat products from areas with confirmed cases of African swine fever (ASF), stressing that those who continued to defy her executive order would be jailed for up to six years.

Garcia said there were business establishments in Cebu still selling meat products from Luzon, especially during the holidays. She said she was informed that owners of these establishments hid their pork products for one to two months so these would not be confiscated by the task force created by the provincial government.“There are establishments that made it appear that they already pulled out their products [from their shelves]. The truth is they just hide them. I already know the identities of these businesses,” Garcia said.


She, however, declined to name these establishments.


The World Organization for Animal Health described ASF as a “severe viral disease” that affects only domestic and wild pigs. The virus can be spread by live or dead pigs and pork products, including contaminated feed.On Nov. 6, Garcia issued Executive Order No. 23, which declared as unlawful the entry of any kind of meat (chicken, beef or fish) into Cebu province, and any kind of food products that have been stored in the same cold storage facility as pork, pork-related products and byproducts from Luzon.

Garcia also extended the ban on shipments of live hogs, pork, pork-related products, byproducts and boar semen from Luzon until June 30, 2020 to protect the province’s hog industry.Violators are fined P5,000 and face a prison term of up to six years.

Serious“There are establishments that are too stubborn. I will welcome them to the CPDRC (Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center) because I want to present them as ‘examples,’” Garcia said.She said the provincial government was serious in protecting Cebu from the swine disease.

“I hope establishments won’t just think about their businesses. Instead, they should also think about their being Cebuanos,” the governor said. “Let us help each other; let us not just think of money. They must also consider their responsibilities to the province and the Cebuanos.” Cebu is the largest pork-producing province in Central Visayas and ranks fourth among the biggest pork producers in the country. Records from the provincial agriculture office showed that Cebu’s hog producers sold 99,898 metric tons of pork in 2018, valued at P10.98 billion. —NESTLE L. SEMILLA INQ

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Lechon, Lechon

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