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Farmers’ group, DA ask Mindanao local governments to avoid blanket ban on hogs, pork movement

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(From left) Davao City business chamber officer Wilfred T. Teves, Department of Agriculture Information Officer Noel Provido, Hog Farmers Association of Davao, Inc. (HOGFADI) President Eduard C. So, City Veterinarian Cerelyn Pinili, and Food and Drug Administration-Davao Supervisor Debbie Legaspi eat lechon (roasted pig) during the Habi at Kape forum on Feb. 19 to assure the public that locally-produced pork sold in the markets are being strictly regulated and are safe to consume. Mr. So noted a significant drop in pork demand following the confirmation of African Swine Fever cases in parts of Davao Region. — BW/LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

THE DAVAO Hog Farmers Association of Davao, Inc. (HOGFADI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) have called on local governments in Mindanao to avoid blanket bans on the entry of hogs and pork products amid confirmed cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in parts of the Davao Region. “Be selective and don’t just impose a lockdown. There are other areas that are free of ASF,” HOGFADI President Eduard C. So said during Wednesday’s Habi at Kape forum. He cited as an example Cagayan de Oro City’s prohibition of hog and pork products from General Santos City, which is in the Soccsksargen Region. “GenSan has been affected. I don’t think its fair that we lockdown the entire Mindanao. There are processes (and protocols) that should allow GenSan (to locally export),” Mr. So said in mixed English and Visayan. The DA has already released color-coded maps indicating ASF infected zones, the buffer areas where hogs will be tested and monitored, and safe zones. “Local governments units (LGUs) should understand this. LGUs should also align their ordinances on the administrative order,” said Noel Provido, DA-Davao Region information officer. A total restriction on inter-province and inter-regional movement of hogs and pork products will hurt the industry, Mr. Provido said. Mr. So said they will be meeting with the DA regional directors to discuss how to address concerns and improve the situation. The ASF outbreaks in parts of Davao Occidental, Davao del Sur and Davao City are being managed following DA procedures. — Maya M. Padillo









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