'Paano ang lechon, chicharon?' Cebu gov defends ban on pork from swine fever-hit Luzon


Posted at Sep 24 2019 11:04 AM

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MANILA — Cebu has enough pork despite a ban on supply from Luzon, parts of which were hit by an outbreak of African swine fever that prompted authorities to cull some 7,000 pigs, the central province's Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said Tuesday.

The agriculture department last week said it has contained the outbreak of the virus, which has no cure and vaccine, in Rizal and Bulacan provinces.

However, several hogs suspected of carrying ASF were found in the rivers of nearby areas like Quezon City and Marikina, noted Garcia.

This prompted her to ban pork from Luzon and require traders to present certain documents for products from other parts of the country.

Cebu, she said, is just "trying to protect" its own P10-billion swine industry.

"E kung ma-ASF ito, napaka-contagious po ng virus na iyan... Papaano iyong lechon po natin, iyong chicharon industry natin? Maraming ibang related industries na maapektuhan," she told radio DZMM.

(What if it is hit by ASF? That virus is very contagious. What will happen to our lechon and chicharon industries? There are many other related industries that will be affected.)

"Mayroon naman kaming supply na sapat. It is enough... Hindi tayo nagkakaroon ng shortage sa supply dahil medyo bumaba iyong demand for pork po."

(We have an adequate supply. It is enough. We are not experiencing a supply shortage because the demand slightly decreased.)

Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier urged Cebu and neighboring Bohol province to reconsider their ban on pork from Luzon.

"Nag-uusap pa po kami (we are still talking)," Dar said in a separate DZMM interview.

DZMM, September 24, 2019