DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Local hog raisers here predict catastrophic consequences if this city heeds a memo from Interior Secretary Eduardo Año asking local government chief executives to lift the ban imposed on live swine and pork-related products from Luzon.
Alvin Teves, the past president of Hog Farmers of Davao, Incorporated (Hog FADI), said the entry of the African swine fever (ASF) virus would spell enormous damage to the swine industry here.
Because of this, Teves said they urged Mayor Sara Duterte to disregard Año’s memorandum until after the ASF problem in Luzon had been eradicated.
The ASF is a highly contagious disease which only affects pigs. It is 100% fatal. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)
The spread of the virus in Luzon has prompted Duterte and other local chief executives to prohibit the entry into their areas of live hogs and pork-related products from Luzon.
Teves said lifting the ban without scientific basis was simply not advisable.
On Wednesday, October 16, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap challenged the Department of Agriculture to give him a valid reason to withdraw his earlier declaration of a blockade on livestock and pork-related products from Luzon.
Yap made the statement he said after he received a call in September from Agriculture Secretary William Dar urging him to reconsider the decision on the ban
Yap, himself also a former Agriculture secretary, said in a statement that the only thing that could make him recall his Executive Order No. 7 issued in August, is for the DA to give him an assurance that it would compensate the losses if the African swine fever breaks out in Bohol.
“Please tell the DA I am willing to open up Bohol tomorrow to all hog related products from Luzon as long as I have a guarantee letter that the Government will compensate Bohol for the culling and disposal of affected dead hogs from ASF and my backyard raisers are compensated properly and immediately upon proof of damages, if and when, ASF gets to Bohol,” he said.
Yap said the guarantee should be “reflected in the budget and that the DA will give me a signed guarantee with a mechanism releasing the payment for compensation.”
“Until that time, I hope people understand that under the General Welfare clause of our laws and my powers under the local government code, I am duty-bound to protect my constituents from harm and damages to life and property,” he added.
Yap said the question of protecting one’s province “need (not) be emotional.”
“We are all friends and colleagues in this industry we love. We have only one country to protect. Let us understand our constraints and help mitigate our fears with actual solutions and stay clear from finger-pointing and name calling,” he added. – Rappler.com