DA, Pork producers commit to protect hog industry

PORK producers are working with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to develop a more cohesive action plan to protect and further develop the local pork industry.

The Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc. recently met with agriculture officials to express its support to the government’s agriculture programs and discuss various concerns besetting the industry.

Present during the meeting were DA senior undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, officer-in-charge (OIC) director Dr. Paul Limson of the Bureau of Animal Industry and OIC director Dr. Clarita Sangcal of the National Meat Inspection Service.

The group discussed the lingering African swine fever (ASF), the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry, the extension of lower tariff for pork imports, and lifting the import ban on porcine processed animal protein from Italy.

“We truly hope that this will be the start of a more cooperative setup for the betterment of our industry said Pork Producers president Rolando Tambago.

Tambago said the local industry is still reeling from the effects of the ASF that has devastated many pork producers, and has led to many—particularly backyard raisers—to close their businesses.

“Unfortunately, the losses have been very hard on a lot of us,” he said.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has recently extended the entry ban on pork products from Iloilo and the entire Panay Island until Dec. 31, 2022 due to ASF that still exists in the island.

Garcia reminded the officials in all ports of entries in Cebu to continue to monitor pork products coming from the ASF-affected areas.

“Right now, of the 81 provinces in the entire country, 62 provinces are now infected with ASF. They have not been able to control the ASF spread in Panay and Iloilo,” Garcia said on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Based on the governor’s Executive Order 42, all pork products from Iloilo and Panay will be banned for 60 days or until December 12, 2022 to protect the P11-billion hog industry in Cebu.

ASF is a viral disease affecting pigs and wild boar with up to 100 percent case fatality rate.

ASF reported countries since August 2018 were China, Mongolia, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, India, Malaysia, Bhutan, Thailand, Nepal. (KOC)