Bacolod City, Neg. Occ. create joint ASF task force

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Tuesday that the provincial government and city of Bacolod created a joint African Swine Fever (ASF) Task Force to prevent the entry of hogs and pork products from places with confirmed ASF cases.

An executive order signed by Lacson and Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Benitez said that the joint task force was created “to prevent the entry or the bringing into for whatever purpose or the trading thereof, of any live pig, boar semen, pork and pork products including food items containing pork originating from, manufactured and/or processed in places affected with African Swine Fever.”

The governor told reporters here that the BREDCO port is located in the city and it is very important that it should be guarded, and this is the prime role of the Bacolod City government.

“That is why we decided to come up with a joint executive order with regards to the ASF task force adding that a team from the city government will man the port,” Lacson said.

Meanwhile, around P20,000 worth of pork byproducts confiscated at the BREDCO port during the weekend were returned to the sender in Iloilo City, according to  Acting Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana.

The products arrived through a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessel at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City on Oct 15 and 16, 2022.

The confiscated products included ground pork, pork tocino, and pork molo.

“Our quarantine inspectors are alert and are strictly doing the inspection of all arriving goods through our ports and seaports. The shippers are willing to bring back the goods so most were returned to the sender in Iloilo,” Lemana said.

Lacson issued two memorandums ordering a ban on the entry of pork and pork byproducts originating from Panay and Guimaras.

This, after the town of Oton in Iloilo reported the first case of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Based on a copy of the memorandums, Lacson pointed out that ASF poses a great threat to Negros Occidental, being one of the major producers and gateway of live pigs being supplied to Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas.

As part of Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-024 (ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental), Lacson ordered the Provincial Veterinary Office’s (PVO) Provincial ASF Task Force to ban the entry of all pigs, pork, and pork byproducts from the provinces of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Aklan and Guimaras.

Lacson also ordered the task force to conduct rigid and stringent screening and inspection of incoming shipments of live animals and pork products.

The task force is also ordered to conduct checkpoints to intercept and control the movement of live animals, pork, and pork byproducts entering the province and confiscate any undocumented shipments.

All transport carriers, upon arrival at the province’s seaports, must undergo mandatory and regular disinfection.

Meanwhile, Lemana said that despite the ban on pork products from Panay Island and Guimaras there is still a stable supply of live pigs and pork meat in the province.

She further said that for almost three years now, the province has been banning the entry of live pigs, pork, and other byproducts from Luzon and Mindanao.

Currently, only pigs and pork products from Cebu and Negros Oriental are allowed to enter the province, Lemana added.