CEBU’s ban on selling live hogs outside the province, in effect until end-July, could be lifted earlier as local supply and market prices have stabilized, Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia announced last week.

“Right now, I believe we have really enough supply such that we can send out live hogs again,” Ms. Garcia said partly in Filipino during a press conference on June 3 following a livelihood program awarding ceremony that was attended by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar.

Mr. Dar, for his part, asked the province to further increase production for delivery to the capital. “I hope Cebu would increase its production level so that the excess here, pwedeng maibenta sa  (could be sold in) Manila,” Mr. Dar said.

Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas Region has remained free from the African Swine Fever (ASF) that has decimated the hog population in many parts of the northern mainland Luzon.

Ms. Garcia issued an executive order that took effect Feb. 1 prohibiting the sale of live hogs from Cebu’s big-scale and backyard farms to other provinces.

At that time, she cited that reserves of the province’s P11-billion hog and pork industry were dwindling and prices in local markets were reported to be increasing.

Meanwhile, Ms. Garcia said they are maintaining strict quarantine checks at the ports to ensure that the province remains ASF-free.   

“We have been very strict with our ports entry. That has helped us actually. We cannot face two pandemics at the same time. It’s difficult enough to be facing the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” she said. — Marifi S. Jara