By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Members of the Provincial Task Force on African Swine Fever (ASF) in Negros Occidental confiscated about 777 kilograms of assorted pork products estimated at P200,000 at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port here Wednesday, September 25.
The products which include tocino, chorizo, bacon, pork liver, ham, pork leg, schublig and hungarian sausages were shipped via M/V St. Therese of the Child Jesus from Rizal province, which is one of the provinces in Luzon affected by ASF virus as per Department of Agriculture (DA).
According to the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), the shipment was supposed to be delivered here but the seized products were shipped back to the port of origin as a form of sanction.
The PVO said it will write the concerned shipping lines to remind them not to allow its passengers or crew to bring prohibited items in the province within the ban period.
The seizure was led by the task force, along with some personnel from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and the Philippine Coast Guard.
The task force is implementing a 90-day ban among pork products coming from Luzon, following the reported presence of ASF in its two provinces, including Rizal.
Last September 12, five tons of illegally imported pork products worth P500,000 were also seized by local authorities at Bredco port.
It was followed by another confiscation of 27 kilograms of pork asado siopao worth P8,000 from Luzon at Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City, two weeks ago.
Despite the series of confiscation, the provincial government reassured the consuming public that it is still safe to eat pork as the PVO, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and local government units (LGUs) regularly monitor the quality of meat sold among local markets.