Pork shortage expected in Metro Cebu due to ASF

METRO CEBU will likely experience a shortage of pork meat and related products in the coming weeks, following the ban on the entry of live pigs for slaughter to the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay from the areas under the infected zone, and all the way to the protected zone for some of these local government units (LGUs), a pork producer said.

Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo) president Jonathan Young told SunStar Cebu Friday, March 10, 2023 that they are anticipating a shortage in the supply of pork meat and byproducts, following the detection of African swine fever (ASF) cases in Carcar City in southern Cebu.

He said pork producers in Metro Cebu rely mostly on backyard and commercial hog farms located in southern Cebu, particularly the towns of San Fernando, Minglanilla, Dumanjug and Toledo City.

In the latest ASF Alert Map, these areas are located in the buffer zones (pink), which are adjacent to the infected zone; surveillance zones (yellow), which are next to the buffer zones; and protected zones (light green).

The rest of Metro Cebu and the rest of northern Cebu and some parts of southern Cebu remain in the ASF free zone (dark green).

Transporting live pigs and their byproducts from surveillance and buffer zones to the green zones is strictly prohibited.

Hence, Young said, Metro Cebu will rely on the supply of live hogs, pork meat and byproducts coming from northern Cebu.


The Province of Cebu and the tri-cites of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu have all banned the entry of hogs and pork products from Carcar City, with Mandaue City also including in the ban hogs and pork products from the buffer zones of San Fernando, Sibonga, Barili and Aloguinsan.

Dr. Jessica Maribojoc, head of Cebu City’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF), told reporters Thursday that Cebu City was prohibiting the entry of live hogs, pork products and byproducts not only from Carcar, the infected zone (red), but also from the buffer (pink), surveillance (yellow) and protected (light green) zones in Cebu.

To deal with a possible shortage of pork meats and pork-related products, Maribojoc said that together with the City Agriculture Office, they are promoting their own supply of live hogs.

At the Carbon Public Market, seven percent of the supply of pork meats and pork-related products in the month of February came from southern Cebu while 33 percent came from northern Cebu, she said.

However, she said the usual practice of traders and retailers was to buy pork meat and byproducts mostly in southern Cebu since they’re cheaper than the pork meat and byproducts coming from the north.

She did not explain why the buying pattern was different in February, when the detection of ASF in Carcar occurred only in March.

“Since these areas are currently banned, why not utilize our own source of live pigs in Cebu City? So that is what we are promoting now,” Maribojoc said.

The official added that Cebu City can also get its pork and byproduct supply from other green zones, particularly in northern Cebu, as well as from Bohol.

Increase in prices

Amid concerns of a supply shortage, Maribojoc said the City Government had monitored abrupt increases of up to P20 to P30 per kilo in the prices of pork and byproducts at the Carbon Public Market since the announcement on the detection of ASF in Carcar last March 6.

However, Young said Friday that there was no indication yet of any increase in the prices of live hogs.

Currently, the prices of live hogs per head range from P165 to P175 per kilo.


Also on Friday, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS 7) Regional Technical Director Alvin Leal reminded operators of slaughterhouses in Cebu province to strictly inspect the permits and documents of transported live pigs for slaughter.

This is to prevent the slaughterhouses from accepting infected pigs, particularly those from red zones.

Currently, there are four accredited AA and AAA grade slaughterhouses in Cebu Province. They are located in Talisay City, Mandaue City, Cebu City and in the town of Asturias.

AA-grade slaughterhouses supply meat products nationwide, while AAA-grade slaughterhouses supply meat products nationwide and export internationally.

However, NMIS has no control over the locally registered slaughterhouses across Cebu province.

Currently, there are 56 slaughterhouses in Cebu province, of which four are accredited by the NMIS while the rest are managed by their respective LGUs.

Meanwhile, CeViPPCo’s Young urged all hog breeders and traders in Cebu island to follow the lead of the Cebu Provincial Veterinary Office in containing the spread of ASF.

These include not smuggling out live hogs from infected areas by tampering with permits and certification in transporting live pigs across different colored zones.

In transporting live pigs for slaughter across different colored zones, Leal said hog traders and handlers must secure the Animal Welfare Registration Certificate, Veterinary Health Certificate, Certificate of Ownership, and Certificate to Transport.

Leal warned that tampering with permits and documents may lead to penalties for violating Republic Act 9296 or The Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines and RA 7394 or Consumer Act of the Philippines of 1991.