By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – The province of Negros Occidental is losing millions of pesos weekly due to the ban imposed by the Cebu provincial government against the entry of live hogs and pork products in their province.
Provincial Veterinary Office head Dr. Placeda Lemana said Thursday that until this writing, Cebu governor Gwen Garcia has not replied to the appeal of Negros to lift the ban and allow hogs and pork to pass through Cebu.
Garcia issued an executive order on March 6 temporarily banning the entry of live hogs, sows, piglets, boar semen, pork, and pork-related products to Cebu province from March 6 to April 5, 2023, after a case of African swine fever (ASF) case was reported in Carcar City.
Lacson earlier wrote a letter addressed to Garcia, requesting the EO to be lifted considering Negros has not been declared as an African Swine Fever (ASF) red zone.
Lemana said the commercial hog raisers in the province are looking for ways to sell their hogs.
She said that instead of Cebu, the sellers have opted to pass through Dipolog going to Mindanao, Leyte, and Manila.
Lemana said that while the cost of transport is higher, what is important is they can dispose of their stocks.
She said the estimated impact of the ban amounts to P18 million weekly.
Aside from these, there are also unfulfilled commitments from hog breeders here to contend with. These are contracted supplies of hogs that were not fulfilled worth P14 million, Lemana said.
Lemana also debunked insinuations that the ASF virus that hit Carcar hogs came from the province.
“We submitted 447 samples required by the regional Department of Agriculture and were given a clean status for ASF, we were also given a green zone, so how could it come from us?” Lemana said.