WITH the ongoing threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF) to the country’s hog industry, Cebu City Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover wants the city’s local breeders to supply pigs to other provinces in the country.
Alcover urged the City Government to provide more support to the local swine industry through the City Agriculture Department’s Swine Dispersal Program.
In a privilege speech during the City Council’s regular session Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, Alcover pointed out that the city remains in the so-called “green zone” unaffected by the ASF.
“With the expected increase in demand for pork products this holiday season, this will become an additional economic opportunity for local breeders,” said Alcover.
“This is to encourage our local swine breeders to have a competitive advantage to other localities,” he added.
According to Alcover, the City Government should not only provide native breeds of pigs but also distribute commercial breeds to the local breeders.
Based on the Oct. 21, 2022, report of the Bureau of Animal Industry, there are nine regions, 17 provinces, 26 municipalities, and 63 barangays affected by the ASF.
As a measure to maintain a one-island approach against the virus, the Cebu City Government has adopted regulations set by the Cebu Provincial Government on banning the entry of live pigs and its by-products from areas that have confirmed ASF cases.
Last October 13, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued an executive order banning the entry of live pigs and its by-products from Iloilo and the entire Panay Island into the province. This was then also quickly adopted by the City Government.
Meanwhile, the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines said it has been augmenting pork supply in ASF-hit areas in the country with live hogs, pork cuts, and carcasses sent to areas with dwindling supply.
This initiative, according to Pork Producers president Rolando Tambago has been ongoing even before the ASF entered the country.
“It’s a good suggestion by Councilor Alcover,” said Tambago, assuring Cebuano consumers that the province has enough pork supply to cover the pork shortages in other areas.
“Cebu right now is 130 percent sufficient, meaning we have 30 percent surplus to send to areas with pork shortage,” he said.
Because of the excess supply, Cebu consumers can also expect stable pork prices during the holiday season. (KOC)