Ban on Luzon pork in entering Cebu stays

Published September 25, 2019, 11:11 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Calvin Cordova

MANDAUE CITY–Live hogs, pork and pork-related products from Luzon will still not be allowed to enter Cebu province.

The development came after a one-hour, closed-door meeting between Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday night.

Also in the meeting were the Department of Agriculture (DA 7) Regional Director Salvador Diputado and Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

The meeting came about four days after Dar appealed to Garcia and Bohol governor Arthur Yap to lift the ban on the entry of live hogs, pork and pork-related products from Luzon where cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) had been confirmed.

“While we wish to protect our respective borders, we should not limit the movement of goods, most particularly food. Hence, we call on our political leaders from Cebu and Bohol to reconsider their strong stance to restrict trade,” said Dar in a statement released last Sept. 21.

Dar said there was “very friendly exchange” during the meeting.

“In the end, we have the same objective and that is to protect the hog industry in this country. We are best of friends,” Dar told reporters after the meeting.

Garcia said she explained to the Agriculture Secretary that the executive order is meant to protect the P11-billion hog industry in the province.

“The secretary has already read our executive order and he saw that it is temporary. It is only for 100 days and we really hope that the situation will really improve after a hundred days or even before that,” Garcia said.

Representatives of hog industries who attended the meeting welcomed the decision not to lift the ban.

“We are happy with the decision to sustain the ban because we want to protect the hog industry in Cebu. We are not just protecting the business but also the livelihood of the farmers and the workers,” said Rolando Tambago, president of the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo).