THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units (LGUs) to align their executive orders (EOs) with National Government policy in restricting the movement of live hogs.

The department is monitoring issuances of LGUs in limiting the entry of hogs and pork products to prevent the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF), because of the potential for inconsistent local policies to delay the flow of goods, Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya said.

“Although the conscientious efforts of LGUs to mitigate the spread of the ASF in their respective jurisdictions are needed, they still have to ensure that their local policies and directives are aligned and consistent with those of the National Government,” he said in a statement Sunday.

Pork prices are rising because of the large-scale cull of hogs on Luzon, forcing markets in Metro Manila to import their meat from more distant islands, in the process incurring higher transportation costs.

Last week, the Department of Agriculture confirmed the detection of ASF in Dulag, Leyte after the first case in the province was reported in Abuyog, further south on the Leyte Gulf coast, on Jan. 14.

The DILG, through Memorandum Circular No. 2021-00, asked LGUs to review their EOs to ensure they conform to national policy, as provided for by Resolution No. 14 of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The President’s Administrative No. 22, series of 2020, also requires agencies and LGUs to implement and comply with the agriculture department’s National Zoning and Movement Plan, imposed to contain the ASF outbreak.

Undersecretary Bernardo C. Florece, Jr., the acting DILG secretary, said non-compliance by LGUs may lead to the filing of charges.

“Failure on the part of the LGU to comply with these directives would lead to reprimand and/or issuance of show cause orders,” he said in the same statement.

“Repeated breaches of those directives may lead to appropriate charges being brought against the local chief executive.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan